Thursday, February 10, 2011

Spatial Statistics of Urban Hot Spots

Metropolitan Area (Urban)Modeling Spatial Patterns of Traffic-related Air Pollutants in Complex Urban Terrain (35 page pdf, Environ Health Perspect, Jan. 24 2011)

Today’s journal article provides valuable statistical information about the spatial and temporal distribution of Ultra-Fine Particles and Particulate Matter 2.5 near roadways with heavy traffic. The result should be useful for assessing health risks, as well as the optimum locations for roadside monitors of these pollutants.

Key Quotes:

“Regression modeling approaches to quantify the influence of meteorology, traffic volume, and proximity to major roadways on pollutant concentrations were used. These models incorporated techniques to capture spatial variability, long and short-term temporal trends, and multiple sources”

“link between traffic-related pollutants or traffic levels and adverse health effects including coronary heart disease and respiratory symptoms.. led to interest in the concept of “hot spots”, i.e., locations where mobile sources may expose people to elevated levels of air pollutants”

“consistently found a 15-20% decrease in UFP [ultrafine particulate matter] concentrations within the first 100 m away from each of the two major roadways.”

“for PM2.5..once short-term temporal autocorrelation was formally accounted for, we saw a significant linear decrease in PM2.5 concentrations between two major roadways and points 500 m away, albeit small in magnitude relative to background concentrations”

“In traffic-impacted urban areas, siting buildings or facilities containing sensitive subpopulations more than 100 m from the nearest roadway could reduce UFP exposures by up to 20%”
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