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ABSTRACT: The period of the 2008 Olympic Summer Games in Beijing can be considered as a unique opportunity to study the influences of emission reduction measures on air quality improvement. Within this study atmospheric particles of different size classes (2.5 to 80 μm) were investigated before, during, and after the Olympic Games period in order to observe and assess the success of short-term measures to mitigate extreme urban aerosol pollution and also to investigate, which particle size classes were reduced most effectively. Furthermore, black carbon (BC) concentrations in fine particles (PM(2.5)) during the source control period were compared to those of the previous years in order to investigate the decrease of combustion-derived aerosols. It is shown that besides the implemented mitigation measures precipitation decisively contributed to a considerable decrease of particulate air pollution in Beijing compared to the respective concentrations during the time directly before and after the Olympic Games, and also compared to average August concentrations during the previous years and the following year 2009. Particles of the fine fraction of the coarse mode (2.5 to 5 μm), which have a residence time in the order of several days and which, therefore, are typically transported over long distances from outside of Beijing, were less efficiently reduced than coarser particles. This indicates that long-range transport of atmospheric particles is difficult to control and that presumably the established mitigation area was not large enough to also reduce the fine fraction of the coarse mode more efficiently. Furthermore, the study showed that coarse geogenic particles, which originated to a high percentage from construction sites and resuspension processes due to traffic seemed to be reduced most efficiently during the Olympic Games period.
Science of The Total Environment 12/2011; 412-413:185-93. · 3.26 Impact Factor