Epidemiological studies typically use monitored air pollution data from a single station or as averaged data from several stations to estimate population exposure. In industrialized urban areas, this approach may present critical issues due to the spatial complexities of air pollutants which are emitted by different sources. This study focused on the city of Taranto, which is one of the most highly industrialized cities in southern Italy. Epidemiological studies have revealed several critical situations in this area, in terms of mortality excess and short-term health effects of air pollution. The aims of this paper are to study the variability of air pollutants in the city of Taranto and to interpret the results in relation to the applicability of the data in assessing population exposure. Meteorological and pollution data (SO2, NO2, PM10), measured simultaneously and continuously during the period 2006-2010 in five air quality stations, were analyzed. Relative and absolute spatial concentration variations were investigated by means of statistical indexes. Results show significant differences among stations. The highest correlation between stations was observed for PM10 concentrations, while critical values were found for NO2. The worst values were observed for the SO2 series. The high values of 90th percentile of differences between pairs of monitoring sites for the three pollutants index suggest that mean concentrations differ by large amounts from site to site. The overall analysis supports the hypothesis that various parts of the city are differently affected by the different emission sources, depending on meteorological conditions. In particular, analysis revealed that the influence of the industrial site may be primarily identified with the series of SO2 data which exhibit higher mean concentration values and positive correlations with wind intensity when the monitoring station is downwind from the industrial site. Results suggest evaluating the population exposure to air pollutants in industrialized cities by taking into account the possible zones of influence of different emission sources. More research is needed to identify an indicator, which ought to be a synthesis of several pollutants, and take into account the meteorological variables.
|Autori:||Mangia C; Gianicolo EAL; Bruni A; Vigotti M; Cervino M|
|Titolo:||Spatial variability of air pollutants in the city of Taranto, Italy and its potential impact on exposure assessment|
|Anno del prodotto:||2013|
|Digital Object Identifier (DOI):||10.1007/s10661-012-2663-4|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||1.1 Articolo in rivista|