Thursday, October 13, 2016

How Polluted is Rome's Air?

Assessment of the Air Pollution Level in the City of Rome (Italy) (15 page pdf, Gabriele Battista, Tiziano Pagliaroli, Luca Mauri, Carmine Basilicata and Roberto De Lieto Vollaro, Sustainability, Aug. 23, 2016)

Today we review an assessment of urban pollution in Italy’s largest city, Rome, whose population in the metropolitan area reaches 4.3 million. Emissions from private vehicles, used by 60% of the population, are the main source of pollution, particularly in winter, with peaks twice daily at rush hour, like many other large cities in the developed world. PM2.5 is one of a small number of pollutants with major health impacts as well as damage to monuments and historical buildings n the urban area which are many in this city with a long history. Reduction or elimination of the post polluting vehicles (Euro class 0,1 and 2) is seen as the most effective way to reduce pollution levels.


Key Quotes:  

Rome is the capital of Italy, and the largest city situated in the west-central part of the country. It is also one of the most populous cities in the European Union with 2.9 million residents in 1285 km2. Considering the metropolitan area of Rome, the population reaches up to 4.3 million residents in 5352 km2.”  

Pedestrian and public transport are only 20% of the total mobility, while 60% of journeys are made by private means of transport;”

“With reference to NO2, SO2 and (PMs) there is general agreement in the scientific literature that they are the main agents responsible for the damage encountered on monuments and historical buildings in urban areas”

“The people exposed to air pollutants are even more evident considering the weak ventilation, because of the presence of high buildings with a consequent reduction of the dispersion of air masses. For this reason, the contaminants formed below the building height remain at the pedestrian level and increase the health damages especially during thermal inversion episodes.”

“the major pollutant concentrations are observed in the winter seasons during the intense traffic flow and the threshold values are often exceeded.”

 “From the analysis of the current air situation, it is clear that traffic is the reason why the pollutant concentrations are so high. Traffic is the main source of [CO], [C6H6] and [PM10] concentrations….One of the main actions that can be performed is the reduction or elimination of the use of the most polluting cars, i.e., cars Euro 0, 1 and 2.”

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