The Effect of Changing Background Emissions on External Cost Estimates for Secondary Particulates

Open Environmental Sciences 05/2008; 2(1):47-53. DOI: 10.2174/1876325100802010047


This paper discusses the importance of background concentrations of NH3, SO2 and NOx for the estimation of environmental external costs of secondary particulates. A modified version of the ECOSENSE software was developed within the ongoing series of European ExternE projects, devoted to the assessment of energy related environmental external
costs. Using the Windrose Trajectory Model the yearly average concentrations of pollutants at ground level was calculated based on average meteo data and a simple scheme of atmospheric reactions. After this, epidemiological exposure response functions are applied to determine the impact on the receptors. Finally, the calculated physical impacts are monetized on the basis of selected economic evaluations. The fact that estimates of external costs of incremental emissions of NOx and SO2 will increase when background emissions decrease is the most important new result. The choice of relevant background emissions is therefore essential to obtain meaningful estimates of external costs.

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    ABSTRACT: In the HEAPS (Health Effects of Air Pollution in Antwerp Schools) study the importance of traffic-related air pollution on the school and home location on children's health was assessed. 130 children (aged 6 to 12) from two schools participated in a biomonitoring study measuring oxidative stress, inflammation and cardiovascular markers. Personal exposure of schoolchildren to black carbon (BC) and nitrogen dioxide (NO2) was assessed using both measured and modeled concentrations. Air quality measurements were done in two seasons at approximately 50 locations, including the schools. The land use regression technique was applied to model concentrations at the children's home address and at the schools. In this paper the results of the exposure analysis are given. Concentrations measured at school 2h before the medical examination were used for assessing health effects of short term exposure. Over two seasons, this short term BC exposure ranged from 514ng/m(3) to 6285ng/m(3), and for NO2 from 11μg/m(3) to 36μg/m(3). An integrated exposure was determined until 10days before the child's examination, taking into account exposures at home and at school and the time spent in each of these microenvironments. Land use regression estimates were therefore recalculated into daily concentrations by using the temporal trend observed at a fixed monitor of the official air quality network. Concentrations at the children's homes were modeled to estimate long term exposure (from 1457ng/m(3) to 3874ng/m(3) for BC; and from 19μg/m(3) to 51μg/m(3) for NO2). The land use regression technique proved to be a fast and accurate means for estimating long term and daily BC and NO2 exposure for children living in the Antwerp area. The spatial and temporal resolution was tailored to the needs of the epidemiologists involved in this study.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2014 · Science of The Total Environment

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