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Atmosphere 2018, 9(2), 38; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos9020038

Atmospheric Dispersion Modelling and Spatial Analysis to Evaluate Population Exposure to Pesticides from Farming Processes

1
DIEF, Department of Engineering “Enzo Ferrari,” University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, 41125 Modena, Italy
2
CREAGEN, Environmental, Genetic and Nutritional Epidemiology Research Center, Section of Public Health, Department of Biomedical, Metabolic and Neural Sciences, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, 41125 Modena, Italy
3
Provincial phytosanitary Consortium of Modena, 41123 Modena, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 15 November 2017 / Revised: 19 January 2018 / Accepted: 20 January 2018 / Published: 24 January 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Atmospheric Physics: Selected Papers from CEST2017)
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Abstract

This work originates from an epidemiological study aimed to assess the correlation between population exposure to pesticides used in agriculture and adverse health effects. In support of the population exposure evaluation two models implemented by the authors were applied: a GIS-based proximity model and the CAREA atmospheric dispersion model. In this work, the results of the two models are presented and compared. Despite the proximity analysis is widely used for these kinds of studies, it was investigated how meteorology could affect the exposure assessment. Both models were applied to pesticides emitted by 1519 agricultural fields and considering 2584 receptors distributed over an area of 8430 km2. CAREA output shows a considerable enhancement in the percentage of exposed receptors, from the 4% of the proximity model to the 54% of the CAREA model. Moreover, the spatial analysis of the results on a specific test site showed that the effects of meteorology considered by CAREA led to an anisotropic exposure distribution that differs considerably from the symmetric distribution resulting by the proximity model. In addition, the results of a field campaign for the definition and planning of ground measurement of concentration for the validation of CAREA are presented. The preliminary results showed how, during treatments, pesticide concentrations distant from the fields are significantly higher than background values. View Full-Text
Keywords: CAREA; pesticides; complex areal sources; population exposure CAREA; pesticides; complex areal sources; population exposure
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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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Costanzini, S.; Teggi, S.; Bigi, A.; Ghermandi, G.; Filippini, T.; Malagoli, C.; Nannini, R.; Vinceti, M. Atmospheric Dispersion Modelling and Spatial Analysis to Evaluate Population Exposure to Pesticides from Farming Processes. Atmosphere 2018, 9, 38.

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