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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(2), 160; doi:10.3390/ijerph14020160

Phenology of a Vegetation Barrier and Resulting Impacts on Near-Highway Particle Number and Black Carbon Concentrations on a School Campus

1
Division of Environmental Health, Georgia State University School of Public Health, P.O. Box 3995, Atlanta, GA 30302, USA
2
Division of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Georgia State University School of Public Health, P.O. Box 3995, Atlanta, GA 30302, USA
3
Office of Research and Development, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Mail Drop 8101R, Research Triangle Park, NC 27711, USA
4
School of History and Sociology, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA 30332, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Doug Brugge
Received: 15 November 2016 / Revised: 30 January 2017 / Accepted: 4 February 2017 / Published: 8 February 2017
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [1978 KB, uploaded 8 February 2017]   |  

Abstract

Traffic-related air pollution is a persistent concern especially in urban areas where populations live in close proximity to roadways. Innovative solutions are needed to minimize human exposure and the installation of vegetative barriers shows potential as a method to reduce near-road concentrations. This study investigates the impact of an existing stand of deciduous and evergreen trees on near-road total particle number (PNC) and black carbon (BC) concentrations across three seasons. Measurements were taken during spring, fall and winter on the campus of a middle school in the Atlanta (GA, USA) area at distances of 10 m and 50 m from a major interstate highway. We identified consistent decreases in BC concentrations, but not for PNC, with increased distance from the highway. In multivariable models, hour of day, downwind conditions, distance to highway, temperature and relative humidity significantly predicted pollutant concentrations. The magnitude of effect of these variables differed by season, however, we were not able to show a definitive impact of the vegetative barrier on near-road concentrations. More detailed studies are necessary to further examine the specific configurations and scenarios that may produce pollutant and exposure reductions. View Full-Text
Keywords: black carbon; particulate matter; vegetation; barrier; highway; near-road; season black carbon; particulate matter; vegetation; barrier; highway; near-road; season
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MDPI and ACS Style

Fuller, C.H.; Carter, D.R.; Hayat, M.J.; Baldauf, R.; Watts Hull, R. Phenology of a Vegetation Barrier and Resulting Impacts on Near-Highway Particle Number and Black Carbon Concentrations on a School Campus. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14, 160.

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