Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Health Impacts from Road Dust and Coarse Particulates

Deutsch: Spikes (Reifen), selbst erstellt 100/...Image via WikipediaEstimated Short-Term Effects of Coarse Particles on Daily Mortality in Stockholm, Sweden (27 page pdf, Kadri Meister, Christer Johansson, Bertil Forsberg, Environ Health Perspect, Dec. 19. 2011)

The focus today is on the short term health impacts from coarser particles that come from traffic and roads other than through emissions- an aspect not as well studied as the impacts from fine particles. For a number of reasons, both these types of particle and the health impacts from them are highest in the winter and spring.

Key Quotes:

“In this study we estimate the effects of short-term exposure of coarse particles on daily mortality in Stockholm.. coarse particle levels are expected to be more spatially heterogeneous than fine particle levels”

“serious health effects associated with particles with an aerodynamic diameter ≤ 10 μm (PM10) and ≤ 2.5 μm (fine fraction; PM2.5) are documented in many studies”

“At roadside locations the majority of traffic exhaust particles are 10-30 nm in diameter, which is too small to result in a large aerosol mass, even when number concentrations are high”

“[in Berlin] about 45% of local traffic contributions to roadside PM10 concentrations were due to suspended soil material, while the remaining traffic contribution was due to vehicle exhaust and tire abrasion”

“In northern Europe, coarse particle concentrations are generally elevated during winter and spring due to the use of studded tires, road salt, and traction sand.. the daily mean concentrations of PM2.5-10 are highest during late winter and spring”
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