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Open AccessArticle

Annual NO2 as a Predictor of Hourly NO2 Variability: Do Defra UK’s Heuristics Make Sense?

by *,† and
Centre for Health Services Studies, The University of Kent, Canterbury, Kent CT2 7NF, UK
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Academic Editor: Luca Stabile
Atmosphere 2021, 12(3), 385; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos12030385
Received: 22 February 2021 / Revised: 10 March 2021 / Accepted: 14 March 2021 / Published: 16 March 2021
(This article belongs to the Section Air Quality and Human Health)
Background: In the UK an hourly objective exists for NO2 concentrations and assessment against this objective is required for various administrative purposes. The vast majority of NO2 measurement in the UK is non-hourly however. Thus, Defra guidance provides a heuristic to estimate hourly objective exceedance likelihood from an annual average. Methods: We examine the performance of this heuristic using a Europe wide dataset containing over 20,000 site-years of data, and perform a sensitivity test to account for data uncertainty. Results: The heuristic misses 64% of sites that break the hourly objective. The heuristic is neither a necessary nor sufficient condition for predicting hourly objective breaches. The sensitivity test reveals that the heuristic is input-fragile. Conclusions: The heuristic performs poorly, is weakly coupled to medical evidence, and work is needed to develop new short term exposure limits for NO2. View Full-Text
Keywords: NO2; Local Air Quality Management; nitrogen dioxide; measurement NO2; Local Air Quality Management; nitrogen dioxide; measurement
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MDPI and ACS Style

Mills, A.; Peckham, S. Annual NO2 as a Predictor of Hourly NO2 Variability: Do Defra UK’s Heuristics Make Sense? Atmosphere 2021, 12, 385. https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos12030385

AMA Style

Mills A, Peckham S. Annual NO2 as a Predictor of Hourly NO2 Variability: Do Defra UK’s Heuristics Make Sense? Atmosphere. 2021; 12(3):385. https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos12030385

Chicago/Turabian Style

Mills, Ashley; Peckham, Stephen. 2021. "Annual NO2 as a Predictor of Hourly NO2 Variability: Do Defra UK’s Heuristics Make Sense?" Atmosphere 12, no. 3: 385. https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos12030385

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