Traffic particle concentrations show considerable spatial variability within a metropolitan area. We consider latent variable semiparametric regression models for modeling the spatial and temporal variability of black carbon and elemental carbon concentrations in the greater Boston area. Measurements of these pollutants, which are markers of traffic particles, were obtained from several individual exposure studies conducted at specific household locations as well as 15 ambient monitoring sites in the city. The models allow for both flexible, nonlinear effects of covariates and for unexplained spatial and temporal variability in exposure. In addition, the different individual exposure studies recorded different surrogates of traffic particles, with some recording only outdoor concentrations of black or elemental carbon, some recording indoor concentrations of black carbon, and others recording both indoor and outdoor concentrations of black carbon. A joint model for outdoor and indoor exposure that specifies a spatially varying latent variable provides greater spatial coverage in the area of interest. We propose a penalised spline formation of the model that relates to generalised kringing of the latent traffic pollution variable and leads to a natural Bayesian Markov Chain Monte Carlo algorithm for model fitting. We propose methods that allow us to control the degress of freedom of the smoother in a Bayesian framework. Finally, we present results from an analysis that applies the model to data from summer and winter separately


Biostatistics | Epidemiology | Longitudinal Data Analysis and Time Series | Multivariate Analysis | Statistical Models