Special Issue "Urban Air Pollution"

A special issue of Atmosphere (ISSN 2073-4433). This special issue belongs to the section "Air Quality".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 June 2017).

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Dr. Yuxuan Wang

Dept of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, The University of Houston, 3507 Cullen Blvd., Houston, TX 77204, USA
E-Mail
Phone: (713) 743-9049
Interests: air quality; climate change; chemical transport models; long-range transport of pollution; energy and sustainable development

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Approximately 54% of the world’s population lives in urban areas today, and this proportion is expected to increase to 66% by 2050. There is a great need to advance our scientific understanding of air pollution in urban areas to improve air quality and protect public health. This Special Issue invites submissions of novel and original papers and reviews on urban air pollution, including but not limited to the following topics:

  • Quantification of pollutant emissions at urban scales
  • In situ and satellite-based observations of trace gases and particulates
  • Chemical transformations
  • Air pollution meteorology
  • Air quality modeling
  • Pollution transport between urban and regional scales
  • Pollution control measures and policies

Dr. Yuxuan Wang
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • Air pollution
  • Urban
  • Emissions
  • Chemistry
  • Meteorology
  • Transport

Published Papers (11 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle
Emission Inventory of On-Road Transport in Bangkok Metropolitan Region (BMR) Development during 2007 to 2015 Using the GAINS Model
Atmosphere 2017, 8(9), 167; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos8090167
Received: 9 August 2017 / Revised: 30 August 2017 / Accepted: 5 September 2017 / Published: 7 September 2017
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (15281 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Bangkok Metropolitan Region (BMR), including the capital city and five adjacent provinces, constitutes one of the top 10 megacities experiencing serious traffic congestion in the world, leading to air quality problems with significant adverse human health risks. Previously, there have been many operations [...] Read more.
Bangkok Metropolitan Region (BMR), including the capital city and five adjacent provinces, constitutes one of the top 10 megacities experiencing serious traffic congestion in the world, leading to air quality problems with significant adverse human health risks. Previously, there have been many operations planned to influence the fuel consumption and emissions from the on-road transport sector in the BMR area. It is necessary to estimate emissions using detailed information in order to thoroughly understand the reason for changes in emission levels and their impact on air quality. This paper aims to determine the successful implementation of energy and air pollution control policies in Thailand through an investigation of the emissions inventory of on-road transport in BMR, including ozone precursors (CO, NOX, Non-methane volatile organic compounds (NMVOCs) ), greenhouse gases (CO2, CH4, N2O), acidic substances (SO2 and NH3), and particulate matters (PM2.5, PM10, Black Carbon (BC), Organic Carbon (OC)) during the period from 2007 to 2015, using the Greenhouse Gas and Air Pollution Interactions and Synergies (GAINS) model based on the country-specific activity data together with the emission factor from the GAINS-Asia database. This study found that the amount of exhaust emissions over the BMR area in the year 2015 (and the trend during the period from 2007 to 2015) is approximately 139 kt of CO (−7.9%), 103 kt of NOX (−4.1%), 19.9 kt of NMVOC (−6.7%), 15 kt of CO2 (+1.6%), 8.6 kt of CH4 (+6.8%), 0.59 kt of N2O (+1.3%), 0.87 kt of SO2 (−25.8%), 1.1 kt of NH3 (+7.8%), 4.9 kt of PM2.5 (−5.5%), 5.1 kt of PM10 (−7.9%), 3.1 kt of BC (−2.5%), and 1.4 kt of OC (−7.7%). The change in emissions in each pollutant is a result of the more stringent control of fuel and engine standards, the shift in the fuel type used, and the effects of controlling some emissions. Light duty car gasoline fuel is identified as a major contributor of CO, NH3, N2O, and NMVOC, whereas trucks are the greatest emitters of NOX, SO2, and particulate matter. This study suggests that the most powerful implementation plan for the continuous, significant reduction of ozone precursor, SO2, and particulate matter emissions is the more stringent enforcement of fuel and vehicle standard levels, especially concerning light duty vehicles. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Air Pollution)
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Open AccessArticle
Dynamic Evaluation of Photochemical Grid Model Response to Emission Changes in the South Coast Air Basin in California
Atmosphere 2017, 8(8), 145; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos8080145
Received: 27 June 2017 / Revised: 27 July 2017 / Accepted: 4 August 2017 / Published: 10 August 2017
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (5672 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper describes a study to evaluate the capability of a photochemical grid modeling system to predict changes in ozone concentrations in response to emission changes over a period of several years. The development of regulatory emission control plans to meet air quality [...] Read more.
This paper describes a study to evaluate the capability of a photochemical grid modeling system to predict changes in ozone concentrations in response to emission changes over a period of several years. The development of regulatory emission control plans to meet air quality standards primarily relies on modeled projections of future-year air quality, although a weight of evidence approach (which takes into account a number of factors including modeling results, model evaluation and other pertinent information such as ambient trends) is recommended and is also typically used as part of the attainment demonstration. Thus, it is important to determine if the modeling system used to project future-year quality can correctly simulate ozone responses to the projected emissions reductions. Uncertainties and errors in modeled projections can lead to erroneous estimates of emissions controls required to attain the standards. We use two existing regulatory modeling databases, employed for forecasting future-year air quality in the South Coast Air Basin (SoCAB) of California, for a number of historical years to evaluate the ability of the system to accurately simulate the observed changes in air quality over a multi-year period. The evaluation results with the older (2012) database show that the modeling system consistently under-predicts the reductions in ozone in response to emission reductions over the years. Model response improves with the newer (2016) database with good agreement at some locations, but the system still tends to under-predict ozone responses by as much as a factor of 2 in recent years for the Basin maximum ozone design value. This suggests that future-year estimates of ozone design values may be overly conservative, resulting in emission controls that are technologically challenging or very expensive to implement. The development of better emission inventories and model inputs is recommended to develop a modeling system that more accurately responds to emission changes. Future regulatory planning should include dynamic evaluation in addition to the traditional operational evaluation of the model to provide more confidence to all stakeholders that the resulting policy decisions are necessary to attain the air quality standards and to protect public health. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Air Pollution)
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Open AccessArticle
Occurrence and Potential Sources of Quinones Associated with PM2.5 in Guadalajara, Mexico
Atmosphere 2017, 8(8), 140; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos8080140
Received: 20 April 2017 / Revised: 21 July 2017 / Accepted: 26 July 2017 / Published: 29 July 2017
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (1779 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
This study aims to establish the influence of primary emission sources and atmospheric transformation process contributing to the concentrations of quinones associated to particulate matter of less than 2.5 µm (PM2.5) in three sites within the Metropolitan Area of Guadalajara (MAG), [...] Read more.
This study aims to establish the influence of primary emission sources and atmospheric transformation process contributing to the concentrations of quinones associated to particulate matter of less than 2.5 µm (PM2.5) in three sites within the Metropolitan Area of Guadalajara (MAG), namely Centro (CEN), Tlaquepaque (TLA) and Las Águilas (AGU). Environmental levels of quinones extracted from PM2.5 filters were analyzed using Gas Chromatography coupled to Mass Spectrometry (GC-MS). Overall, primary emissions in combination with photochemical and oxidation reactions contribute to the presence of quinones in the urban atmosphere of MAG. It was found that quinones in PM2.5 result from the contributions from direct emission sources by incomplete combustion of fossil fuels such as diesel and gasoline that relate mainly to vehicular activity intensity in the three sampling sites selected. However, this also suggests that the occurrence of quinones in MAG can be related to photochemical transformation of the parent Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs), to chemical reactions with oxygenated species, or a combination of both routes. The higher concentration of 1,4-Chrysenequinone during the rainy season compared to the warm-dry season indicates chemical oxidation of chrysene, since the humidity could favor singlet oxygen collision with parent PAH present in the particle phase. On the contrary, 9,10-Anthraquinone/Anthracene and 1,4-Naftoquinone/Naphthalene ratios were higher during the warm-dry season compared to the rainy season, which might indicate a prevalence of the photochemical formation during the warm-dry season favored by the large solar radiation typical of the season. In addition, the estimated percentage of photochemical formation of 9,10-Phenanthrenequinone showed that the occurrence of this compound in Tlaquepaque (TLA) and Las Águilas (AGU) sites is mainly propagated by conditions of high solar radiation such as in the warm-dry season and during long periods of advection of air masses from emission to the reception areas. This was shown by the direct association between the number hourly back trajectories arriving in the TLA and AGU from Centro and other areas in MAG and the highest photochemical formation percentage. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Air Pollution)
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Open AccessArticle
Numerical Investigation on the Effect of Avenue Trees on PM2.5 Dispersion in Urban Street Canyons
Atmosphere 2017, 8(7), 129; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos8070129
Received: 14 June 2017 / Revised: 14 July 2017 / Accepted: 17 July 2017 / Published: 19 July 2017
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (5570 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The Reynolds-averaged Navier-Stokes (RANS) model and revised generalized drift flux model were used to investigate the characteristics of airflow fields and PM2.5 dispersion in street canyons with a variety setting on tree crown morphologies (i.e., conical, spherical, and cylindrical), leaf area densities [...] Read more.
The Reynolds-averaged Navier-Stokes (RANS) model and revised generalized drift flux model were used to investigate the characteristics of airflow fields and PM2.5 dispersion in street canyons with a variety setting on tree crown morphologies (i.e., conical, spherical, and cylindrical), leaf area densities (LADs = 0.5, 1.5, and 2.5 m2/m3), and street canyon aspect ratios (H/W = 0.5, 1.0, and 2.0). Results were as follows: (1) airflow fields were reversed in the presence of trees and enhanced with higher LAD; (2) air velocity decreased negligibly when LAD increased from 1.5 to 2.5, but significantly when LAD increased from 0.5 to 1.5; (3) tree crown morphologies, building aspect ratios, and LADs were interrelated. The comparison of PM2.5 showed that the most critical situations in H/W = 0.5, 1.0, and 2.0 corresponded to LAD = 0.5 with a conical canopy; (4) the H/W = 1.0 and LAD = 1.5 scenario was identified as the most efficient combination for PM2.5 capture; (5) the maximum PM2.5 reduction ratio was ordered from low to high in the sequence of conical, spherical, and cylindrical canopies. At predestinated LADs and aspect ratio, Populus tomentosa with cylindrical crown morphology exhibited the best efficiency on PM2.5 capture with a reduction ratio of 75% to 85% at pedestrian height. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Air Pollution)
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Open AccessArticle
The Spatiotemporal Distribution of Air Pollutants and Their Relationship with Land-Use Patterns in Hangzhou City, China
Atmosphere 2017, 8(6), 110; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos8060110
Received: 26 April 2017 / Revised: 6 June 2017 / Accepted: 16 June 2017 / Published: 20 June 2017
Cited by 11 | PDF Full-text (9415 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Air pollution contributes to a large fraction of the total mortality estimated under the global burden of disease project (GBD) of the World Health Organization (WHO). This paper discusses an integrated study to obtain the spatiotemporal characteristics of particulate matter (PM10 and [...] Read more.
Air pollution contributes to a large fraction of the total mortality estimated under the global burden of disease project (GBD) of the World Health Organization (WHO). This paper discusses an integrated study to obtain the spatiotemporal characteristics of particulate matter (PM10 and PM2.5) and trace gases (O3, SO2, NO2, and CO) pollutants in Hangzhou City (China) for the years 2014–2016. Our detailed analysis shows a relationship between air pollutants and land-use/land-cover change. Air quality parameters (PM2.5 and PM10) and trace gases (SO2, NO2, and CO) show strong monthly variations in the months of January (higher values) and July (lower values). During monsoon and summer seasons, air quality and trace gases show low values, whereas ozone (O3) is higher in the summer and lower in the winter. The spatial distribution of air pollutants is retrieved using the kriging method at the monitoring sites in Hangzhou City. We have considered normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) and land surface temperature (LST) from the Landsat 8 data. The correlation between air pollutants and land use at the street-town unit suggests that areas with low NDVI, high road density, large built-up density, and LST are consistent with high concentrations of particulate matter and SO2, NO2, and CO. Among the trace gases, NO2 is found to be the most sensitive element affected by land use patterns, and O3 shows weak correlation with land use. SO2 shows a strong positive correlation with road density and LST, whereas CO shows positive correlation with the built-up density, LST, and population density. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Air Pollution)
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Open AccessArticle
Variations of Carbon Monoxide Concentrations in the Megacity of São Paulo from 2000 to 2015 in Different Time Scales
Atmosphere 2017, 8(5), 81; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos8050081
Received: 13 March 2017 / Revised: 17 April 2017 / Accepted: 20 April 2017 / Published: 28 April 2017
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (2730 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Air pollution is an important public health issue. High levels of carbon monoxide in the atmosphere are hazardous to human health. Studies regarding the concentration of this and other gases in the atmosphere allow political actions to manage and reduce the emission of [...] Read more.
Air pollution is an important public health issue. High levels of carbon monoxide in the atmosphere are hazardous to human health. Studies regarding the concentration of this and other gases in the atmosphere allow political actions to manage and reduce the emission of pollutants. In this context, this paper studied the annual, seasonal, weekly and daily variations of carbon monoxide (CO) concentration for the Metropolitan Region of São Paulo (MRSP). We studied three sites in the MRSP, two of them are located in areas under the influence of heavy vehicle traffic (Osasco and Congonhas) and the third one in a city park (Ibirapuera Park). The results showed high influence of gasoline vehicles on CO emission. In the annual scale, CO concentration decreased due to improvements in emission technology, despite the increasing number of vehicles. CO emission showed a seasonal, weekly and diurnal cycle associated to meteorological conditions and emission patterns. The highest values of mean concentration were observed in June/July for Osasco (2.20 ppm), Congonhas (2.04 ppm) and Ibirapuera (1.04 ppm), during the morning, due to weak dispersion of the polluting gases and higher emission from the rush hours. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Air Pollution)
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Open AccessCommunication
A New Type of Haze? The December 2015 Purple (Magenta) Haze Event in Nanjing, China
Atmosphere 2017, 8(4), 76; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos8040076
Received: 25 December 2016 / Revised: 6 April 2017 / Accepted: 6 April 2017 / Published: 14 April 2017
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (9052 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
A special and unusual purple (magenta) haze episode was observed in Nanjing, China, at 17:00 on 22 December 2015. Many local and national news outlets reported this event. Based on an analysis of the pollution features and meteorological factors, including boundary layer characteristics, [...] Read more.
A special and unusual purple (magenta) haze episode was observed in Nanjing, China, at 17:00 on 22 December 2015. Many local and national news outlets reported this event. Based on an analysis of the pollution features and meteorological factors, including boundary layer characteristics, we concluded that this haze event was similar in most respects to other local haze episodes. We discuss the reasons and the possibilities about this rare color haze at the end of the paper. One way to attain a combination of blue and red light is to have the green wavelengths selectively absorbed, and this seems unlikely for typical atmospheric constituents. Another way involves pollution gases or particles together with small liquid-water drops, which need further confirmation. A third possibility is that the combination of transmitted red light from the sun and scattered blue light from above could produce a purple/magenta color in the sky. In general, further studies are required to assess the physical, chemical, and optical features of this purple haze in order to explain and predict this phenomenon in the future. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Air Pollution)
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Open AccessArticle
Inverse Relations of PM2.5 and O3 in Air Compound Pollution between Cold and Hot Seasons over an Urban Area of East China
Atmosphere 2017, 8(3), 59; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos8030059
Received: 14 February 2017 / Revised: 6 March 2017 / Accepted: 16 March 2017 / Published: 20 March 2017
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (2273 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Abstract: By analyzing the data of urban air pollutant measurements from 2013 to 2015 in Nanjing, East China, we found that the correlation coefficients between major atmospheric compound pollutants PM2.5 and O3 were respectively 0.40 in hot season (June, July [...] Read more.
Abstract: By analyzing the data of urban air pollutant measurements from 2013 to 2015 in Nanjing, East China, we found that the correlation coefficients between major atmospheric compound pollutants PM2.5 and O3 were respectively 0.40 in hot season (June, July and August) and −0.16 in cold season (December, January and February) with both passing the confidence level of 99%. This provides evidence for the inverse relations of ambient PM2.5 and O3 between cold and hot seasons in an urban area of East China. To understand the interaction of PM2.5 and O3 in air compound pollution, the underlying mechanisms on the inversion relations between cold and hot seasons were investigated from the seasonal variations in atmospheric oxidation and radiative forcing of PM2.5 based on three-year environmental and meteorological data. The analyses showed that the augmentation of atmospheric oxidation could strengthen the production of secondary particles with the contribution up to 26.76% to ambient PM2.5 levels. High O3 concentrations in a strong oxidative air condition during hot season promoted the formation of secondary particles, which could result in a positive correlation between PM2.5 and O3 in hot season. In cold season with weak atmospheric oxidation, the enhanced PM2.5 levels suppressed surface solar radiation, which could weaken O3 production for decreasing ambient O3 level with the low diurnal peaks. Under the high PM2.5 level exceeding 115 μg·m−3, the surface O3 concentration dropped to 12.7 μg·m−3 at noon with a significant inhibitory effect, leading to a negative correlation between PM2.5 and O3 in cold season. This observational study revealed the interaction of PM2.5 and O3 in air compound pollution for understanding the seasonal change of atmospheric environment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Air Pollution)
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Open AccessArticle
Land Use Regression Modeling of PM2.5 Concentrations at Optimized Spatial Scales
Atmosphere 2017, 8(1), 1; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos8010001
Received: 28 November 2016 / Revised: 9 December 2016 / Accepted: 20 December 2016 / Published: 23 December 2016
Cited by 12 | PDF Full-text (3244 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Though land use regression (LUR) models have been widely utilized to simulate air pollution distribution, unclear spatial scale effects of contributing characteristic variables usually make results study-specific. In this study, LUR models for PM2.5 in Houston Metropolitan Area, US were developed under [...] Read more.
Though land use regression (LUR) models have been widely utilized to simulate air pollution distribution, unclear spatial scale effects of contributing characteristic variables usually make results study-specific. In this study, LUR models for PM2.5 in Houston Metropolitan Area, US were developed under scales of 100 m, 300 m, 500 m, 800 m, and 1000–5000 m with intervals of 500 m by employing the idea of statistically optimized analysis. Results show that the annual average PM2.5 concentration in Houston was significantly influenced by area ratios of open space urban and medium intensity urban at a 100 m scale, as well as of high intensity urban at a 500 m scale, whose correlation coefficients valued −0.64, 0.72, and 0.56, respectively. The fitting degree of LUR model at the optimized spatial scale (adj. R2 = 0.78) is obviously better than those at any other unified spatial scales (adj. R2 ranging from 0.19 to 0.65). Differences of PM2.5 concentrations produced by LUR models with best-, moderate-, weakest fitting degree, as well as ordinary kriging were evident, while the LUR model achieved the best cross-validation accuracy at the optimized spatial scale. Results suggested that statistical based optimized spatial scales of characteristic variables might possibly ensure the performance of LUR models in mapping PM2.5 distribution. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Air Pollution)
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Open AccessArticle
Chemical Composition of PM10 at Urban Sites in Naples (Italy)
Atmosphere 2016, 7(12), 163; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos7120163
Received: 28 October 2016 / Revised: 6 December 2016 / Accepted: 9 December 2016 / Published: 16 December 2016
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (1105 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Here, we report the chemical characterization and identification of the possible sources of particulate matter (fraction PM10) at two different sites in Naples. PM10 concentration and its chemical composition were studied using the crustal enrichment factor (EF) and principal component [...] Read more.
Here, we report the chemical characterization and identification of the possible sources of particulate matter (fraction PM10) at two different sites in Naples. PM10 concentration and its chemical composition were studied using the crustal enrichment factor (EF) and principal component analysis (PCA). In all of the seasons, the PM10 levels, were significantly higher (p < 0.01) in the urban-traffic site (denominated NA02) than in the urban-background site (denominated NA01). In order to reconstruct the particle mass, the components were classified into seven classes as follows: mineral dust (MD), trace elements (TE), organic matter (OM), elemental carbon (EC), sea salt (SS), secondary inorganic aerosol (SIA) and undetermined parts (unknown (UNK)). According to the chemical mass closure obtained, the major contribution was OM, which was higher (p < 0.01) during summer than in other seasons. In both sites, a good correlation (R2 > 0.8) was obtained between reconstructed mass and gravimetric mass. PCA analysis explained 76% and 79% of the variance in NA01 and NA02, respectively. The emission sources were the same for both sites; but, the location of the site, the different distances from the sources and the presence and absence of vegetation proved the different concentrations and compositions of PM10. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Air Pollution)
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Review

Jump to: Research

Open AccessReview
Air Pollution and Public Health: A PRISMA-Compliant Systematic Review
Atmosphere 2017, 8(10), 183; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos8100183
Received: 30 June 2017 / Revised: 21 August 2017 / Accepted: 19 September 2017 / Published: 22 September 2017
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (235 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
(1) Background: Particulate matter increases the risk of respiratory, allergic and oncological diseases in both exposed workers and the general population due to its toxic compounds (e.g., PAHs, gases, heavy metals, microorganisms). The aim of this review is to show the results obtained [...] Read more.
(1) Background: Particulate matter increases the risk of respiratory, allergic and oncological diseases in both exposed workers and the general population due to its toxic compounds (e.g., PAHs, gases, heavy metals, microorganisms). The aim of this review is to show the results obtained by our department regarding air pollution’s contributions to health damage in both occupationally and non-occupationally exposed people. (2) Methods: This review was performed according to Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines, searching articles on PubMed, using eligibility criteria, extracting data independently from reports to reduce bias and considering the accuracy of the statistical analyses. (3) Results: Of fifteen papers, only three respected the abovementioned criteria. A total of 453 cases (174 occupationally exposed and 279 non-occupationally exposed individuals) were included in the review. Qualitative analysis showed that among workers, occupational exposure to air pollution increased the risk of allergic and pulmonary diseases, whereas environmental exposure to PM increased heavy metal intake, the last of which was characterized by well-known carcinogenic effects. 4) Conclusion: The use of personal protective equipment, a meticulous health surveillance program and specific environmental protection policies are needed to protect public health from damages due to air pollution. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Air Pollution)
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