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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    • "– Site 3 (Boo) is located in the tidal inlets of Santander Bay, an area affected by metal inputs. Metallurgical, mineral discharges as well as shipyard activities and the release of urban waste waters have been inventoried (Viguri et al., 2007; Arruti et al., 2011). Also, raw sewage effluents were discharged into the bay until the implementation , in 2001, of the sanitation system (Echavarri-Erasun et al., 2010). "
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    ABSTRACT: To evaluate the effects of diffuse contamination, biological measurements were applied in a scrap cargo harbour, a marina and an industrial area. Metal accumulation and biomarkers (survival in air, digestive gland and gonad histopathology, lysosomal membrane stability, intralysosomal metal accumulation, transcription of vitellogenin and MT20, peroxisome proliferation and micronuclei formation) were measured in transplanted mussels, together with metrics of benthic invertebrates. Benthic species were classified into ecological groups and univariate indexes were calculated. The marina showed high richness (16) and percentage of opportunistic species (55.1%) and low metal accumulation. Mussels in the scrap cargo harbour showed high metal accumulation, up-regulation of MT20 transcription, reduced health status (LP<6min) and increased micronuclei frequencies (up to 11.3‰). At the industrial area, low species richness (4) and badly organised assemblages were detected and chemical analyses indicated significant amounts of bioavailable metals. Overall, selected biological measurements showed potential for the assessment of diffuse contamination.
    No preview · Article · Dec 2015 · Marine Pollution Bulletin
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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.
    Full-text · Article · Jul 2014 · Environmental Science and Pollution Research
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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.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2012 · ATMOSPHERIC CHEMISTRY AND PHYSICS
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