Impact of the global economic crisis on metal levels in particulate matter (PM) at an urban area in the Cantabria Region (Northern Spain)

Universidad de Cantabria, Dep. Ingeniería Química y Química Inorgánica, Avda. Los Castros s/n, 39005 Santander, Cantabria, Spain.
Environmental Pollution (Impact Factor: 4.14). 03/2011; 159(5):1129-35. DOI: 10.1016/j.envpol.2011.02.008
Source: PubMed


Air pollution by particulate matter is well linked with anthropogenic activities; the global economic crisis that broke out in the last year may be a proper indicator of this close relationship. Some economic indicators show the regional effects of the crisis on the Cantabria Region. The present work aims to evaluate the impact of the economic crisis on PM10 levels and composition at the major city of the region, Santander. Some metals linked to anthropogenic activities were measured at Santander and studied by Positive Matrix Factorization; this statistical analysis allowed to identify three main factors: urban background, industrial and molybdenum-related factor. The main results show that the temporal trend of the levels of the industrial tracers found in the present study are well agree with the evolution of the studied economic indicators; nevertheless, the urban background tracers and PM10 concentration levels are not well correlated with the studied economic indicators.

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    • "reduction in manufacturing, which has halved the production to levels similar to those experienced in 1995 (Celades et al. 2012). This is consistent with a recent study which documented that levels of PM 10 followed a similar trend of economic indicators (Arruti et al. 2011). To assess the degree of compliance in the area of study for the period 2006–2010, the PM 10 and PM 2.5 concentrations measured were compared with the guidelines given in the European Directive 2004/107 "
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    ABSTRACT: Arsenic is a toxic element that affects human health and is widely distributed in the environment. In the area of study, the main Spanish and second largest European industrial ceramic cluster, the main source of arsenic aerosol is related to the impurities in some boracic minerals used in the ceramic process. Epidemiological studies on cancer occurrence in Spain points out the study region as one with the greater risk of cancer. Concentrations of particulate matter and arsenic content in PM10 and PM2.5 were measured and characterized by ICP-MS in the area of study during the years 2005–2010. Concentrations of PM10 and its arsenic content range from 27 to 46 μg/m3 and from 0.7 to 6 ng/m3 in the industrial area, respectively, and from 25 to 40 μg/m3 and from 0.7 to 2.8 ng/m3 in the urban area, respectively. Concentrations of PM2.5 and its arsenic content range from 12 to 14 μg/m3 and from 0.5 to 1.4 ng/m3 in the urban background area, respectively. Most of the arsenic content is present in the fine fraction, with ratios of PM2.5/PM10 in the range of 0.65–0.87. PM10, PM2.5, and its arsenic content show a sharp decrease in recent years associated with the economic downturn, which severely hit the production of ceramic materials in the area under study. The sharp production decrease due to the economic crisis combined with several technological improvements in recent years such as substitution of boron, which contains As impurities as raw material, have reduced the concentrations of PM10, PM2.5, and As in air to an extent that currently meets the existing European regulations.
    Environmental Science and Pollution Research 07/2014; 21(1):695-703. DOI:10.1007/s11356-013-1950-0 · 2.83 Impact Factor
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    • "Indeed, this economic crisis has been most severely felt in the peripheral economic states of Europe such as Spain and Portugal, and Europe's fourth largest economy, Italy. A study performed by Arruti et al. (2011) has observed a direct link between levels of industrial trace elements and some economic indicators in northern Spain from 2008–2009. However , the study did not discover any direct relationship between the economic downturn and ambient PM levels. "
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    ABSTRACT: The time variability and long term trends of PM2.5 (particulate matter of diameter < 2.5 μm) at various regional background (RB) sites across Europe are studied and interpreted in this work. Data on mean annual levels of PM2.5 measured at Montseny (MSY, North East Spain) and various RB sites in Spain and Europe are evaluated and compared, and subsequently analysed for statistically significant trends. The MSY site registered higher average PM2.5 levels than those measured at a selection of other RB sites across Spain, Portugal, Germany and Scandinavia by percentage compared to the mean of all the stations in these countries, but lower than those measured in Switzerland, Italy and Austria. Reductions in PM2.5 were observed across all stations in Spain and Europe to varying degrees (7-49%). MSY underwent a statistically significant reduction since measurements began, indicating a year-on-year gradual decrease (-3.7 μg m-3, calculated from the final year of data compared to the mean). Similar trends were observed in other RB sites across Spain (-1.9 μg m-3). Reductions recorded in PM2.5 across Europe were varied, with many experiencing gradual, year-on-year decreases (-1.8 μg m-3). These reductions have been attributed to various causes: the introduction and implementation of pollution abatement strategies in EU member states, the effect of the current economic crisis on emissions of PM2.5 and the influence of meteorology observed during the winters of 2009 and 2010. In addition, the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO), a large scale meteorological phenomenon most prevalent during winter, was observed to influence the frequency of Saharan dust intrusions across the Iberian Peninsula. Chemical composition of PM2.5 at MSY is characterised by high levels of organic matter (OM) and sulphate, followed by crustal material, nitrate and ammonia. Sea Spray and elemental carbon (EC) comprised a minor part of the total PM2.5 mass. Statistical trend analysis was performed on the various chemical components of PM2.5 recorded at MSY to determine which components were accountable for the decrease in PM2.5 concentration. It is shown that OM underwent the largest decrease over the time period with a statistically significant trend (-1.3 μg m-3 compared to the mean), followed by sulphate (-0.8 μg m-3), ammonium (-0.5 μg m-3) and nitrate (-0.4 μg m-3). Conversely, sea spray, EC and crustal material reductions were found to be negligible.
    ATMOSPHERIC CHEMISTRY AND PHYSICS 09/2012; 12(18):8341-8357. DOI:10.5194/acp-12-8341-2012 · 5.05 Impact Factor
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    • "the marine aerosol contribution to PM 10 values at coastal areas . The PM 10 levels in the Cantabria region are in the range of the levels reported in other European cities ( Putaud et al . 2010 ) . Taking into account the EU regulation , the PM 10 annual limit was not exceeded and neither did the maximum number of 24 - h limit value exceedances ( Arruti et al . 2011 ) ."
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    ABSTRACT: The aim of the present study was to evaluate the polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) and polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) levels in PM(10) and PM(2.5), at one rural and three urban sites in the Cantabria region (northern Spain). From all of these pollutants, benzo(a)pyrene is regulated by the EU air quality directives; its target value (1 ng/m(3)) was not exceeded. The concentration values of the studied organic pollutants at the studied sites are in the range of those obtained at other European sites. A comparison between the rural-urban stations was developed: (a) PAH concentration values were lower in the rural site (except for fluorene). Therefore, the contribution of local sources to the urban levels of PAHs seems relevant. Results from the coefficient of divergence show that the urban PAH levels are influenced by different local emission sources. (b) PCB rural concentration values were higher than those found at urban sites. Because no local sources of PCBs were identified in the rural site, the contribution of more distant emission sources (about 40 km) to the PCB levels is considered to be the most important; the long-range transport of PCBs does not seem to be significant. Additionally, local PAH tracers were identified by a triangular diagram: higher molecular weight PAHs in Reinosa, naphthalene in Santander and anthracene/pyrene in Castro Urdiales. A preliminary PAH source apportionment study in the urban sites was conducted by means of diagnostic ratios. The ratios are similar to those reported in areas affected by traffic emissions; they also suggest an industrial emission source at Reinosa.
    Environmental Monitoring and Assessment 01/2012; 184(11):6513-26. DOI:10.1007/s10661-011-2437-4 · 1.68 Impact Factor
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