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Castel Guelfo di Bologna, Italy

Sartini C.,Regional Center for Urban Areas | Sartini C.,University College London | Sajani S.Z.,Regional Center for Environment and Health | Ricciardelli I.,Regional Center for Urban Areas | And 5 more authors.
Environmental Sciences: Processes and Impacts

The aim of this study was to investigate the influence of an urban area on ultrafine particle (UFP) concentration in nearby surrounding areas. We assessed how downwind and upwind conditions affect the UFP concentration at a site placed a few kilometres from the city border. Secondarily, we investigated the relationship among other meteorological factors, temporal variables and UFP. Data were collected for 44 days during 2008 and 2009 at a rural site placed about 3 kilometres from Bologna, in northern Italy. Measurements were performed using a spectrometer (FMPS TSI 3091). The average UFP number concentration was 11=776 (±7836) particles per cm3. We analysed the effect of wind direction in a multivariate Generalized Additive Model (GAM) adjusted for the principal meteorological parameters and temporal trends. An increase of about 25% in UFP levels was observed when the site was downwind of the urban area, compared with the levels observed when wind blew from rural areas. The size distribution of particles was also affected by the wind direction, showing higher concentration of small size particles when the wind blew from the urban area. The GAM showed a good fit to the data (R2 = 0.81). Model choice was via Akaike Information Criteria (AIC). The analysis also revealed that an approach based on meteorological data plus temporal trends improved the goodness of the fit of the model. In addition, the findings contribute to evidence on effects of exposure to ultrafine particles on a population living in city surroundings. © 2013 The Royal Society of Chemistry. Source

Zauli Sajani S.,Regional Center for Environment and Health | Ricciardelli I.,Regional Center for Urban Areas | Trentini A.,Regional Center for Urban Areas | Bacco D.,Regional Center for Urban Areas | And 6 more authors.
Atmospheric Environment

In order to investigate relationships between outdoor air pollution and concentrations indoors, a novel design of experiment has been conducted at two sites, one heavily trafficked and the other residential. The novel design aspect involves the introduction of air directly to the centre of an unoccupied room by use of a fan and duct giving a controlled air exchange rate and allowing an evaluation of particle losses purely due to uptake on indoor surfaces without the losses during penetration of the building envelope which affect most measurement programmes. The rooms were unoccupied and free of indoor sources, and consequently reductions in particle concentration were due to deposition processes within the room alone. Measurements were made of indoor and outdoor concentrations of PM2.5, major chemical components and particle number size distributions. Despite the absence of penetration losses, indoor to outdoor ratios were very similar to those in other studies showing that deposition to indoor surfaces is likely to be the major loss process for indoor air. The results demonstrated a dramatic loss of nitrate in the indoor atmosphere as well as a selective loss of particles in the size range below 50nm, in comparison to coarser particles. Depletion of indoor particles was greater during a period of cold weather with higher outdoor concentrations probably due to an enhancement of semi-volatile materials in the outdoor particulate matter. Indoor/outdoor ratios for PM2.5 were generally higher at the trafficked site than the residential site, but for particle number were generally lower, reflecting the different chemical composition and size distributions of particles at the two sites. © 2014. Source

Zauli Sajani S.,Regional Center for Environment and Health | Trentini A.,Regional Center for Urban Areas | Rovelli S.,University of Insubria | Ricciardelli I.,Regional Center for Urban Areas | And 11 more authors.
Environmental Pollution

The most advanced epidemiological studies on health effects of air pollution assign exposure to individuals based on residential outdoor concentrations of air pollutants measured or estimated at the front-door. In order to assess to what extent this approach could cause misclassification, indoor measurements were carried out in unoccupied rooms at the front and back of a building which fronted onto a major urban road. Simultaneous measurements were also carried out at adjacent outdoor locations to the front and rear of the building. Two 15-day monitoring campaigns were conducted in the period June-December 2013 in a building located in the urban area of Bologna, Italy. Particulate matter metrics including PM2.5 mass and chemical composition, particle number concentration and size distribution were measured. Both outdoor and indoor concentrations at the front of the building substantially exceeded those at the rear. The highest front/back ratio was found for ultrafine particles with outdoor concentration at the front door 3.4 times higher than at the rear. A weak influence on front/back ratios was found for wind direction. Particle size distribution showed a substantial loss of particles within the sub-50 nm size range between the front and rear of the building and a further loss of this size range in the indoor data. The chemical speciation data showed relevant reductions for most constituents between the front and the rear, especially for traffic related elements such as Elemental Carbon, Iron, Manganese and Tin. The main conclusion of the study is that gradients in concentrations between the front and rear, both outside and inside the building, are relevant and comparable to those measured between buildings located in high and low traffic areas. These findings show high potential for misclassification in the epidemiological studies that assign exposure based on particle concentrations estimated or measured at subjects' home addresses. © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. Source

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