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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.

Willers S.M.,DCMR Environmental Protection Agency Rijnmond | Jonker M.F.,Erasmus MC | Klok L.,Applied Scientific Research | Keuken M.P.,Applied Scientific Research | And 5 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.

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.

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 | 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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