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Keuken M.P.,TNO | Henzing J.S.,TNO | Zandveld P.,TNO | van den Elshout S.,DCMR Environmental Protection Agency Rijnmond | Karl M.,Norwegian Institute For Air Research
Atmospheric Environment | Year: 2012

Emissions of combustion aerosol by transport activities near residential areas are associated with adverse health effects. The composition of combustion aerosol from road traffic, a harbour and an airstrip has been investigated by measurements of PM 2.5, elemental carbon (EC), organic carbon (OC) and size-resolved particle number concentrations (PNC). PM 2.5 concentrations are not significantly increased downwind of transport activities. Combustion aerosol from road traffic is identified by EC, OC and PNC and an airstrip by OC and a large number of nucleation particles (i.e. particles smaller than 25 nm). Combustion emissions from a harbour have not been distinguished from background concentrations probable due to the height of these emissions and their large temporal variability. EC is suggested (over OC and PNC) as an indicator for the mass of combustion emissions by road traffic. EC is more stable during dispersion, has a higher contrast against background concentrations and is relatively easy to monitor. From our study on size-resolved PNC downwind of a motorway, it is concluded that dispersion of PNC from road traffic may be modelled as a conservative parameter on a medium city scale. The modelled spatial distribution of EC and PNC in the city of Rotterdam shows that EC is elevated both near urban and motorway traffic, while PNC has the highest relative values near motorway traffic. This illustrates that the urban population is exposed to different levels and composition of combustion aerosol which may result in different health impacts. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.


PubMed | The BMJ, Finnish National Institute for Health and Welfare, University of Stuttgart, Center for Research and Technology Hellas and 11 more.
Type: | Journal: Environmental health : a global access science source | Year: 2016

Climate change is a global threat to health and wellbeing. Here we provide findings of an international research project investigating the health and wellbeing impacts of policies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in urban environments.Five European and two Chinese city authorities and partner academic organisations formed the project consortium. The methodology involved modelling the impact of adopted urban climate-change mitigation transport, buildings and energy policy scenarios, usually for the year 2020 and comparing them with business as usual (BAU) scenarios (where policies had not been adopted). Carbon dioxide emissions, health impacting exposures (air pollution, noise and physical activity), health (cardiovascular, respiratory, cancer and leukaemia) and wellbeing (including noise related wellbeing, overall wellbeing, economic wellbeing and inequalities) were modelled. The scenarios were developed from corresponding known levels in 2010 and pre-existing exposure response functions. Additionally there were literature reviews, three longitudinal observational studies and two cross sectional surveys.There are four key findings. Firstly introduction of electric cars may confer some small health benefits but it would be unwise for a city to invest in electric vehicles unless their power generation fuel mix generates fewer emissions than petrol and diesel. Second, adopting policies to reduce private car use may have benefits for carbon dioxide reduction and positive health impacts through reduced noise and increased physical activity. Third, the benefits of carbon dioxide reduction from increasing housing efficiency are likely to be minor and co-benefits for health and wellbeing are dependent on good air exchange. Fourthly, although heating dwellings by in-home biomass burning may reduce carbon dioxide emissions, consequences for health and wellbeing were negative with the technology in use in the cities studied.The climate-change reduction policies reduced CO2 emissions (the most common greenhouse gas) from cities but impact on global emissions of CO2 would be more limited due to some displacement of emissions. The health and wellbeing impacts varied and were often limited reflecting existing relatively high quality of life and environmental standards in most of the participating cities; the greatest potential for future health benefit occurs in less developed or developing countries.


Denby B.,Norwegian Institute For Air Research | Dudek A.,Norwegian Institute For Air Research | Walker S.E.,Norwegian Institute For Air Research | Costa A.M.,University of Aveiro | And 3 more authors.
International Journal of Environment and Pollution | Year: 2011

The aim of this paper is to promote the use of uncertainty mapping when spatial assessments of air quality are made. A large number of air quality maps are produced for scientific and policy purposes but rarely are corresponding maps of their uncertainty included. The need for such maps and the methods to produce them are described. Several uncertainty parameters are discussed but it is recommended to use the probability density function as the basis of the uncertainty estimates. Several examples are provided discussing indicative uncertainty, ensemble methods, comparisons with observations, spatial representativeness, uncertainty in exceedances and probability of exceedance. Copyright © 2011 Inderscience Enterprises Ltd.


Van Den Elshout S.,DCMR Environmental Protection Agency Rijnmond | Leger K.,University Paris Diderot | Heich H.,Heich Consult
Science of the Total Environment | Year: 2014

The CAQI or Common Air Quality Index was proposed to facilitate the comparison of air quality in European cities in real-time. There are many air quality indices in use in the world. All are somewhat different in concept and presentation and comparing air quality presentations of cities on the internet was virtually impossible. The CAQI and the accompanying website www.airqualitynow.eu and app were proposed to overcome this problem in Europe. This paper describes the logic of making an index, in particular the CAQI and its update with a grid for PM2.5. To assure a smooth transition to the new calculation scheme we studied the behaviour of the index before and after the changes. We used 2006 Airbase data from 31 urban background and 27 street stations all across Europe (that were monitoring PM2.5 in 2006).The CAQI characterises a city by a roadside and urban background situation. It also insists on a minimum number of pollutants to be included in the calculation. Both were deemed necessary to improve the basis for comparing one city to another. A sensitivity analysis demonstrates the comparative behaviour of the street and urban background stations and presents the sensitivity of the CAQI outcome to the pollutants included in its calculation. © 2013 Elsevier B.V.


PubMed | DCMR Environmental Protection Agency Rijnmond, Heich Consult and University Paris Diderot
Type: | Journal: The Science of the total environment | Year: 2014

The CAQI or Common Air Quality Index was proposed to facilitate the comparison of air quality in European cities in real-time. There are many air quality indices in use in the world. All are somewhat different in concept and presentation and comparing air quality presentations of cities on the internet was virtually impossible. The CAQI and the accompanying website www.airqualitynow.eu and app were proposed to overcome this problem in Europe. This paper describes the logic of making an index, in particular the CAQI and its update with a grid for PM2.5. To assure a smooth transition to the new calculation scheme we studied the behaviour of the index before and after the changes. We used 2006 Airbase data from 31 urban background and 27 street stations all across Europe (that were monitoring PM2.5 in 2006). The CAQI characterises a city by a roadside and urban background situation. It also insists on a minimum number of pollutants to be included in the calculation. Both were deemed necessary to improve the basis for comparing one city to another. A sensitivity analysis demonstrates the comparative behaviour of the street and urban background stations and presents the sensitivity of the CAQI outcome to the pollutants included in its calculation.


Willers S.M.,DCMR Environmental Protection Agency Rijnmond | Willers S.M.,Erasmus University Rotterdam | Jonker M.F.,Erasmus University Rotterdam | Klok L.,Applied Scientific Research | And 6 more authors.
Environment International | Year: 2016

Background: Elevated temperature and air pollution have been associated with increased mortality. Exposure to heat and air pollution, as well as the density of vulnerable groups varies within cities. The objective was to investigate the extent of neighbourhood differences in mortality risk due to heat and air pollution in a city with a temperate maritime climate. Methods: A case-crossover design was used to study associations between heat, air pollution and mortality. Different thermal indicators and air pollutants (PM10, NO2, O3) were reconstructed at high spatial resolution to improve exposure classification. Daily exposures were linked to individual mortality cases over a 15year period. Results: Significant interaction between maximum air temperature (Tamax) and PM10 was observed. During "summer smog" days (Tamax>25°C and PM10>50μg/m3), the mortality risk at lag 2 was 7% higher compared to the reference (Tamax 15°C and PM10 15μg/m3). Persons above age 85 living alone were at highest risk. Conclusion: We found significant synergistic effects of high temperatures and air pollution on mortality. Single living elderly were the most vulnerable group. Due to spatial differences in temperature and air pollution, mortality risks varied substantially between neighbourhoods, with a difference up to 7%. © 2016 Elsevier Ltd.


PubMed | Public Health England, University of Bristol, Municipal Public Health Service Rotterdam Rijnmond, DCMR Environmental Protection Agency Rijnmond and 2 more.
Type: | Journal: Environment international | Year: 2016

Elevated temperature and air pollution have been associated with increased mortality. Exposure to heat and air pollution, as well as the density of vulnerable groups varies within cities. The objective was to investigate the extent of neighbourhood differences in mortality risk due to heat and air pollution in a city with a temperate maritime climate.A case-crossover design was used to study associations between heat, air pollution and mortality. Different thermal indicators and air pollutants (PM10, NO2, O3) were reconstructed at high spatial resolution to improve exposure classification. Daily exposures were linked to individual mortality cases over a 15year period.Significant interaction between maximum air temperature (Tamax) and PM10 was observed. During summer smog days (Tamax>25C and PM10>50g/m(3)), the mortality risk at lag 2 was 7% higher compared to the reference (Tamax 15C and PM10 15g/m(3)). Persons above age 85 living alone were at highest risk.We found significant synergistic effects of high temperatures and air pollution on mortality. Single living elderly were the most vulnerable group. Due to spatial differences in temperature and air pollution, mortality risks varied substantially between neighbourhoods, with a difference up to 7%.


Van Den Elshout S.,DCMR Environmental Protection Agency Rijnmond | Molenaar R.,DCMR Environmental Protection Agency Rijnmond | Wester B.,DCMR Environmental Protection Agency Rijnmond
Science of the Total Environment | Year: 2014

Traffic is the dominant source of air pollution in cities. We simulated 'adaptive traffic management' (temporary traffic interventions that are invoked based on preset conditions such as high ambient concentrations) aimed at reducing traffic related air pollution. We compared these results with the effect of permanent temporary traffic interventions (measures that are always invoked for a few hours, irrespective of other criteria). The potential impact of the traffic interventions was assessed using Black Carbon and NOx-concentration observations in a busy urban street in Rotterdam, The Netherlands. Results show that generic traffic information (counts, speed, composition) in combination with general knowledge about the atmospheric conditions, provide sufficient information for operational decision making. However, the results also show that the overall net benefits of temporary measures are very small. The impact of permanent measures such as lowering the traffic density during rush hours is higher than measures taken for short time periods when air pollution is high or expected to be high. © 2013 Elsevier B.V.


Weber M.,DCMR Environmental Protection Agency Rijnmond | Odink J.,GGD Rotterdam Rijnmond Public Health Service
42nd International Congress and Exposition on Noise Control Engineering 2013, INTER-NOISE 2013: Noise Control for Quality of Life | Year: 2013

Various interventions are applied in cities with the aim to improve living and acoustic environments, and thereby well-being and health of citizens. Low noise road pavement is a common noise abatement measure which can locally reduce noise emission levels with approximately 3 dB at municipal roads. Additional costs, compared with normal asphalt types, weigh well up regarding the health benefits. Although abundant studies are available on the acoustic and physical characteristics of low noise pavement, very limited research has addressed the effects on perception of well-being, acoustic and/or environmental quality. In order to examine health and other benefits of this and other road traffic noise abatement measure, Rotterdam recently initiated two studies. In 2013 and 2014 the effects of low noise road pavement on the perception of well-being, health and soundscape will be evaluated at citizens' home environment and when visiting a relatively quiet area (cf. END). Although both studies are set up within different frameworks (ROAM resp. LIFE+ QUADMAP project) methodologies and approaches are aligned where feasible and possible. In short, noise calculations, in situ noise measurements and field surveys will be carried out, both before and after low noise pavement has been applied.


Van Den Elshout S.,DCMR Environmental Protection Agency Rijnmond | De Gier C.,DCMR Environmental Protection Agency Rijnmond
HARMO 2010 - Proceedings of the 13th International Conference on Harmonisation within Atmospheric Dispersion Modelling for Regulatory Purposes | Year: 2010

Shipping emissions are notoriously uncertain due to the high variability of engines, engine ages and maintenance situations and fuel types. In the port of Rotterdam area shipping is a substantial source and less understood than other dominant sources such as industrial and traffic. Furthermore, where other sectors are foreseen to reduce emissions, shipping was expected to rise due to increasing world trade a slow technology development in the sector (though the latter is about to change under influence of proposed IMO regulation). To study the shipping emission we look at SO2. Contrary to NOx or PM, shipping is the main SO2 source in addition to a few stationary sources (refineries, power plants). In a previous study we modelled all sources and analysed the modelled and measured pollution roses. The gap between measured and modelled concentrations indicated that SO2 emissions were underestimated. By looking at the pollution roses, shipping and mainly ships at berth were identified as the probable cause. Recently the emission inventory was updated, leading to considerable spatial shifts in emissions. The new emission inventory is based on actual measurements of the position and speed of individual ships with a high spatial and temporal resolution. The absolute level of the emissions didn't change substantially. In this study we repeat the analysis with the new emission inventory. We compare measured and modelled pollution roses to see if the current inventory adequately describes the spatial pattern of the emissions. In addition we use linear regression to assess whether the modelled (daily averages) fields for shipping, industry correctly describe the observed variation on a number of monitoring sites. Combining the pollution rose analysis and the regression technique improves the assessment of the current emission inventory.

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