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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(10), 928; doi:10.3390/ijerph13100928

Socioeconomic Drivers of PM2.5 in the Accumulation Phase of Air Pollution Episodes in the Yangtze River Delta of China

1,2,3
,
1,3,* , 1,3
and
1,3
1
Key Laboratory of Virtual Geographic Environment, Nanjing Normal University, Ministry of Education, Nanjing 210023, China
2
College of Geographic Sciences, Nantong University, Nantong 226007, China
3
State Key Laboratory Cultivation Base of Geographical Environment Evolution (Jiangsu Province), Jiangsu Center for Collaborative Innovation in Geographical Information Resource Development and Application, College of Geographical Science, Nanjing Normal University, Nanjing 210023, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Paul B. Tchounwou
Received: 13 July 2016 / Revised: 31 August 2016 / Accepted: 9 September 2016 / Published: 22 September 2016
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [5892 KB, uploaded 22 September 2016]   |  

Abstract

Recent studies in PM2.5 sources show that anthropogenic emissions are the main contributors to haze pollution. Due to their essential roles in establishing policies for improving air quality, socioeconomic drivers of PM2.5 levels have attracted increasing attention. Unlike previous studies focusing on the annual PM2.5 concentration (Cyear), this paper focuses on the accumulation phase of PM2.5 during the pollution episode (PMAE) in the Yangtze River Delta in China. This paper mainly explores the spatial variations of PMAE and its links to the socioeconomic factors using a geographical detector and simple linear regression. The results indicated that PM2.5 was more likely to accumulate in more developed cities, such as Nanjing and Shanghai. Compared with Cyear, PMAE was more sensitive to socioeconomic impacts. Among the twelve indicators chosen for this study, population density was an especially critical factor that could affect the accumulation of PM2.5 dramatically and accounted for the regional difference. A 1% increase in population density could cause a 0.167% rise in the maximal increment and a 0.214% rise in the daily increase rate of PM2.5. Additionally, industry, energy consumption, and vehicles were also significantly associated with PM2.5 accumulation. These conclusions could serve to remediate the severe PM2.5 pollution in China. View Full-Text
Keywords: PM2.5; pollution episode; socioeconomic factor; geographical detector; Yangtze River Delta PM2.5; pollution episode; socioeconomic factor; geographical detector; Yangtze River Delta
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Lou, C.-R.; Liu, H.-Y.; Li, Y.-F.; Li, Y.-L. Socioeconomic Drivers of PM2.5 in the Accumulation Phase of Air Pollution Episodes in the Yangtze River Delta of China. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13, 928.

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