Special Issue "Advances in Air Quality Monitoring and Assessment"

A special issue of Applied Sciences (ISSN 2076-3417). This special issue belongs to the section "Environmental and Sustainable Science and Technology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 28 February 2021.

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Thomas Maggos
Website
Guest Editor
NCSR “Demokritos”, Environmental Research Laboratory, 15310 Athens, Greece
Interests: air quality; analytical chemistry; atmospheric chemistry; source apportionment, particulate matter; climate change; catalysis
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Air quality monitoring is a long-term assessment of pollutant levels that helps to assess the extent of pollution and provide information on air quality trends. Furthermore, an air quality monitoring system (AQMS) supports research by providing the information necessary for scientists to perform long-term studies of the exposure of population to various atmospheric substances and in general to estimate the health effects of air pollution. In addition, an advanced AQMS could make available useful information to policymakers and planners in order to make informed decisions on managing and improving air quality by better understanding the sources of air pollution.

The purpose of this Special Issue is to provide an overview of recent advances in environmental monitoring and assessment that includes the design, development, and application of advanced monitoring systems. These systems should be based on cutting-edge scientific knowledge and not replicate well-known monitoring techniques. Potential topics of the journal include, but are not limited to, technical developments of AQM systems (including advanced sensor technologies), methodological approaches to assess the impact of air pollution in human health, and long-term personal and population exposure assessment studies. Scientific papers dealing with monitoring and health data fusion techniques and evaluation of air quality models using data from advanced AQMS are also encouraged.

Dr. Thomas Maggos
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Applied Sciences is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Design of air quality monitoring systems
  • Development of AQ monitoring techniques
  • Exposure assessment methodologies
  • Health impact assessment
  • Advanced air quality models based on long-term AQ monitoring
  • Data fusion techniques
  • Sensors applications for AQ assessment
  • Indoor and ambient AQ

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Atmospheric Concentrations and Health Implications of PAHs, PCBs and PCDD/Fs in the Vicinity of a Heavily Industrialized Site in Greece
Appl. Sci. 2020, 10(24), 9023; https://doi.org/10.3390/app10249023 - 17 Dec 2020
Abstract
Background: Thriassion Plain is considered the most industrialized area in Greece and thus a place where emissions of pollutants are expected to be elevated, leading to the degradation of air quality. Methods: Simultaneous determination of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins/dibenzofurans (PCDD/Fs), and [...] Read more.
Background: Thriassion Plain is considered the most industrialized area in Greece and thus a place where emissions of pollutants are expected to be elevated, leading to the degradation of air quality. Methods: Simultaneous determination of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins/dibenzofurans (PCDD/Fs), and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) was performed in PM10 samples. SPSS statistical package was employed for statistical analysis and source apportionment purposes. Cancer risk was estimated from total persistent organic pollutants’ (POPs) dataset according to the available literature. Results: POPs concentrations in particulate matter were measured in similar levels compared to other studies in Greece and worldwide, with mean concentrations of ΣPAHs, ΣPCDD/Fs, dioxin like PCBs, and indicator PCBs being 7.07 ng m−3, 479 fg m−3, 1634 fg m−3, and 18.1 pg m−3, respectively. Seasonal variations were observed only for PAHS with higher concentrations during cold period. MDRs, D/F ratios, and principal component analysis (PCA) highlighted combustions as the main source of POPs’ emissions. Estimation of particles’ carcinogenic and mutagenic potential indicates the increased toxicity of PM10 during cold periods, and cancer risk assessment concludes that 3 to 4 people out of 100,000 may suffer from cancer due to POPs’ inhalation. Conclusions: Increased cancer risk for citizens leads to the necessity of chronic POPs’ monitoring in Thriassion Plain, and such strategies have to be a priority for Greek environmental authorities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Air Quality Monitoring and Assessment)
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Open AccessArticle
Pollution Characteristics of Particulate Matter (PM2.5 and PM10) and Constituent Carbonaceous Aerosols in a South Asian Future Megacity
Appl. Sci. 2020, 10(24), 8864; https://doi.org/10.3390/app10248864 - 11 Dec 2020
Abstract
The future megacity of Faisalabad is of prime interest when considering environmental health because of its bulky population and abundant industrial and anthropogenic sources of coarse particles (PM10) and fine airborne particulate matter (PM2.5). The current study was aimed [...] Read more.
The future megacity of Faisalabad is of prime interest when considering environmental health because of its bulky population and abundant industrial and anthropogenic sources of coarse particles (PM10) and fine airborne particulate matter (PM2.5). The current study was aimed to investigate the concentration level of PM2.5 and PM10, also the characterization of carbonaceous aerosols including organic carbon (OC), elemental carbon (EC) and total carbon (TC) in PM2.5 and PM10 samples collected from five different sectors (residential, health, commercial, industrial, and vehicular zone). The data presented here are the first of their kind in this sprawling city having industries and agricultural activities side by side. Results of the study revealed that the mass concentration of PM2.5 and PM10 is at an elevated level throughout Faisalabad, with ambient PM2.5 and PM10 points that constantly exceeded the 24-h standards of US-EPA, and National Environment Quality Standards (NEQS) which poses harmful effects on the quality of air and health. The total carbon concentration varied between 21.33 and 206.84 μg/m3, and 26.08 and 211.15 μg/m3 with an average of 119.16 ± 64.91 μg/m3 and 124.71 ± 64.38 μg/m3 for PM2.5 in summer and winter seasons, respectively. For PM10, the concentration of TC varied from 34.52 to 289.21 μg/m3 with an average of 181.50 ± 87.38 μg/m3 (for summer season) and it ranged between 44.04 and 300.02 μg/m3 with an average of 191.04 ± 87.98 μg/m3 (winter season), respectively. No significant difference between particulate concentration and weather parameters was observed. Similarly, results of air quality index (AQI) and pollution index (PI) stated that the air quality of Faisalabad ranges from poor to severely pollute. In terms of AQI, moderate pollution was recorded on sampling sites in the following order; Ittehad Welfare Dispensary > Saleemi Chowk > Kashmir Road > Pepsi Factory, while at Nazria Pakistan Square and Allied Hospital, higher AQI values were recorded. The analysis and results presented in this study can be used by policy-makers to apply rigorous strategies that decrease air pollution and the associated health effects in Faisalabad. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Air Quality Monitoring and Assessment)
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Open AccessArticle
Impact of the ‘13th Five-Year Plan’ Policy on Air Quality in Pearl River Delta, China: A Case Study of Haizhu District in Guangzhou City Using WRF-Chem
Appl. Sci. 2020, 10(15), 5276; https://doi.org/10.3390/app10155276 - 30 Jul 2020
Abstract
Due to increasingly stringent control policy, air quality has generally improved in major cities in China during the past decade. However, the standards of national regulation and the World Health Organization are yet to be fulfilled in certain areas (in some urban districts [...] Read more.
Due to increasingly stringent control policy, air quality has generally improved in major cities in China during the past decade. However, the standards of national regulation and the World Health Organization are yet to be fulfilled in certain areas (in some urban districts among the cities) and/or certain periods (during pollution episode event). A further control policy, hence, has been issued in the 13th Five-Year Plan (2016–2020, hereafter 13th FYP). It will be of interest to evaluate the air quality before the 13th FYP (2015) and to estimate the potential air quality by the end of the 13th FYP (2020) with a focus on the area of an urban district and the periods of severe pollution episodes. Based on observation data of major air pollutants, including SO2 (sulphur dioxide), NO2 (nitrogen dioxide), CO (carbon monoxide), PM10 (particulate matter with aerodynamic diameter equal to or less than 10 μm), PM2.5 (particulate matter with aerodynamic diameter equal to or less than 2.5 µm) and O3 (Ozone), the air quality of Haizhu district [an urban district in the Pearl River Delta (PRD), China] in 2015 suggested that typical heavy pollution occurred in winter and the hot season, with NO2 or PM2.5 as the key pollutants in winter and O3 as the key pollutant in the hot season. We also adopted a state-of-the-art chemical transport model, the Weather Research and Forecasting model coupled with Chemistry (WRF-Chem), to predict the air quality in Haizhu District 2020 under different scenarios. The simulation results suggested that among the emission control scenarios, comprehensive measures taken in the whole of Guangzhou city would improve air quality more significantly than measures taken just in Haizhu, under all conditions. In the urban district, vehicle emission control would account more than half of the influence of all source emission control on air quality. Based on our simulation, by the end of the 13th FYP, it is noticeable that O3 pollution would increase, which indicates that the control ratio of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and nitrogen oxides (NOx) may be unsuitable and therefore should be adjusted. Our study highlights the significance of evaluating the efficacy of current policy in reducing the air pollutants and recommends possible directions for further air pollution control for urban areas during the 13th FYP. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Air Quality Monitoring and Assessment)
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Open AccessArticle
Chemical and Biological Characterization of Particulate Matter (PM 2.5) and Volatile Organic Compounds Collected at Different Sites in the Los Angeles Basin
Appl. Sci. 2020, 10(9), 3245; https://doi.org/10.3390/app10093245 - 07 May 2020
Abstract
Background: Most studies on air pollution (AP) exposure have focused on adverse health effects of particulate matter (PM). Less well-studied are the actions of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) not retained in PM collections. These studies quantified chemical and biological properties of both PM2.5 [...] Read more.
Background: Most studies on air pollution (AP) exposure have focused on adverse health effects of particulate matter (PM). Less well-studied are the actions of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) not retained in PM collections. These studies quantified chemical and biological properties of both PM2.5 and VOCs. Methods: Samples were collected near the Port of Los Angeles (Long Beach, LB), railroads (Commerce, CM), and a pollution-trapping topography-site (San Bernardino, SB). Quantitative assays were conducted: (1) chemical—prooxidant and electrophile content, (2) biological—tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) and heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1) expression (3), VOC modulation of PM effects and (4), activation of the antioxidant response element (ARE) using murine RAW 264.7 macrophages. Results: SB site samples were the most potent in the chemical and biological assays, followed by a CM railroad site. Only PM2.5 exhibited significant proinflammatory responses. VOCs were more potent than PM2.5 in generating anti-inflammatory responses; further, VOC pretreatment reduced PM-associated TNF-α expression. VOCs significantly increased ARE activation compared to their corresponding PM2.5 which remained at background levels. Conclusion: Ambient VOCs are major contributors to adaptive responses that can modulate PM effects, in vitro, and, as such, need to be included in comprehensive assessments of AP. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Air Quality Monitoring and Assessment)
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Open AccessArticle
Transport Pathways and Potential Source Region Contributions of PM2.5 in Weifang: Seasonal Variations
Appl. Sci. 2020, 10(8), 2835; https://doi.org/10.3390/app10082835 - 20 Apr 2020
Cited by 3
Abstract
As air pollution becomes progressively more serious, accurate identification of urban air pollution characteristics and associated pollutant transport mechanisms helps to effectively control and alleviate air pollution. This paper investigates the pollution characteristics, transport pathways, and potential sources of PM2.5 in Weifang [...] Read more.
As air pollution becomes progressively more serious, accurate identification of urban air pollution characteristics and associated pollutant transport mechanisms helps to effectively control and alleviate air pollution. This paper investigates the pollution characteristics, transport pathways, and potential sources of PM2.5 in Weifang based on PM2.5 monitoring data from 2015 to 2016 using three methods: Hybrid Single-Particle Lagrangian Integrated Trajectory (HYSPLIT), the potential source contribution function (PSCF), and concentration weighted trajectory (CWT). The results show the following: (1) Air pollution in Weifang was severe from 2015 to 2016, and the annual average PM2.5 concentration was more than twice the national air quality second-level standard (35 μg/m3). (2) Seasonal transport pathways of PM2.5 vary significantly: in winter, spring and autumn, airflow from the northwest and north directions accounts for a large proportion; in contrast, in summer, warm-humid airflows from the ocean in the southeastern direction dominate with scattered characteristics. (3) The PSCF and CWT results share generally similar characteristics in the seasonal distributions of source areas, which demonstrate the credibility and accuracy of the analysis results. (4) More attention should be paid to short-distance transport from the surrounding areas of Weifang, and a joint pollution prevention and control mechanism is critical for controlling regional pollution. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Air Quality Monitoring and Assessment)
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Open AccessArticle
Improved Interpolation and Anomaly Detection for Personal PM2.5 Measurement
Appl. Sci. 2020, 10(2), 543; https://doi.org/10.3390/app10020543 - 11 Jan 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
With the development of technology, especially technologies related to artificial intelligence (AI), the fine-dust data acquired by various personal monitoring devices is of great value as training data for predicting future fine-dust concentrations and innovatively alerting people of potential danger. However, most of [...] Read more.
With the development of technology, especially technologies related to artificial intelligence (AI), the fine-dust data acquired by various personal monitoring devices is of great value as training data for predicting future fine-dust concentrations and innovatively alerting people of potential danger. However, most of the fine-dust data obtained from those devices include either missing or abnormal data caused by various factors such as sensor malfunction, transmission errors, or storage errors. This paper presents methods to interpolate the missing data and detect anomalies in PM2.5 time-series data. We validated the performance of our method by comparing ours to well-known existing methods using our personal PM2.5 monitoring data. Our results showed that the proposed interpolation method achieves more than 25% improved results in root mean square error (RMSE) than do most existing methods, and the proposed anomaly detection method achieves fairly accurate results even for the case of the highly capricious fine-dust data. These proposed methods are expected to contribute greatly to improving the reliability of data. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Air Quality Monitoring and Assessment)
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