Measurement of Exposure to Air Pollution

A topical collection in Atmosphere (ISSN 2073-4433). This collection belongs to the section "Air Quality and Human Health".

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Collection Editor
Department of Civil and Mechanical Engineering, University of Cassino and Southern Lazio, 03043 Cassino, Italy
Interests: environment; exposure assessment; airborne particles; aerosol; environmental engineering
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Topical Collection Information

Dear Colleagues,

The foremost aim of scientists investigating air pollution-related issues is the estimate of risk and health outcomes in exposed populations. The value of the information provided is obviously related to the models adopted, but it depends even more on the propaedeutic data for such estimates, i.e., the exposure assessment. The exposure is the consequence of pollutant emission from different sources and the following thermodynamic processes affecting those pollutants. Therefore, the prediction of such exposure is somehow complex; nevertheless, the exposure of a selected population can be really measured, and such measurement is crucial to properly estimate pollutants’ dose, risk, and health effects.

People are exposed to several pollutants, depending on the microenvironments where they live and work and the lifestyles that they adopt. Indeed, in the past, the scientific community has mainly investigated the air quality of outdoor environments, highlighting, as an example, the critical aspects of the existing standards. Currently, scientists are also trying to deal with the air quality of indoor microenvironments, since a number of researches clearly recognized such microenvironments as worse than the outdoor ones in terms of people exposure to hazardous pollutants.

A significant advancement in characterizing the exposures to pollutants can be achieved only considering a multidisciplinary approach involving techniques, methods, and know-how of air quality experts, metrologists, epidemiologists, engineers, chemists, and physicists. This is the purpose of the Topical Collection “Measurement of Exposure to Air Pollution” that welcomes researches considering all the different aspects related to the exposure assessment. In particular, the issue will involve, but it is not limited to, studies (a) evaluating the exposure to different pollutants in particular microenvironments (both indoor and outdoor), (b) investigating the effectiveness of technical solutions to reduce the exposure, (c) modelling the dynamics of the different pollutants to predict the exposure, (d) highlighting the effect of the instrument metrological performance on a proper evaluation of the exposure, (e) characterizing the emission of sources not yet examined, (f) proposing new exposure assessment methods and approaches.

Prof. Dr. Luca Stabile
Collection Editor

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Keywords

  • air pollution
  • exposure
  • airborne particles
  • ventilation
  • portable instruments
  • indoor air quality
  • outdoor air quality
  • filtration
  • exposure population study
  • measurements
  • PM chemical analysis
  • pollutant dispersion

Published Papers (12 papers)

2024

Jump to: 2022, 2021

14 pages, 3488 KiB  
Article
Study of the Suitability of a Personal Exposure Monitor to Assess Air Quality
by Halah E. Aljofi, Thomas J. Bannan, Michael Flynn, James Evans, David Topping, Emily Matthews, Sebastian Diez, Pete Edwards, Hugh Coe, Daniel R. Brison, Martie van Tongeren, Edward D. Johnstone and Andrew Povey
Atmosphere 2024, 15(3), 315; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos15030315 - 2 Mar 2024
Viewed by 1106
Abstract
Low-cost personal exposure monitors (PEMs) to measure personal exposure to air pollution are potentially promising tools for health research. However, their adoption requires robust validation. This study evaluated the performance of twenty-one Plume Lab Flow2s (PLFs) by comparing its air pollutant measurements, particulate [...] Read more.
Low-cost personal exposure monitors (PEMs) to measure personal exposure to air pollution are potentially promising tools for health research. However, their adoption requires robust validation. This study evaluated the performance of twenty-one Plume Lab Flow2s (PLFs) by comparing its air pollutant measurements, particulate matter with a diameter of 2.5 μm or less (PM2.5), 10 μm or less (PM10), and nitrogen dioxide (NO2), against several high-quality air pollution monitors under field conditions (at indoor, outdoor, and roadside locations). Correlation and regression analysis were used to evaluate measurements obtained by different PLFs against reference instrumentation. For all measured pollutants, the overall correlation coefficient between the PLFs and the reference instruments was often weak (r < 0.4). Moderate correlation was observed for one PLF unit at the indoor location and two units at the roadside location when measuring PM2.5, but not for PM10 and NO2 concentration. During periods of particularly higher pollution, 11 PLF tools showed stronger regression results (R2 values > 0.5) with one-hour and 9 PLF units with one-minute time interval. Results show that the PLF cannot be used robustly to determine high and low exposure to poor air. Therefore, the use of PLFs in research studies should be approached with caution if data quality is important to the research outputs. Full article
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2022

Jump to: 2024, 2021

16 pages, 2455 KiB  
Article
Imputation of Missing PM2.5 Observations in a Network of Air Quality Monitoring Stations by a New kNN Method
by Idit Belachsen and David M. Broday
Atmosphere 2022, 13(11), 1934; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos13111934 - 21 Nov 2022
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2355
Abstract
Statistical analyses often require unbiased and reliable data completion. In this work, we imputed missing fine particulate matter (PM2.5) observations from eight years (2012–2019) of records in 59 air quality monitoring (AQM) stations in Israel, using no auxiliary data but the [...] Read more.
Statistical analyses often require unbiased and reliable data completion. In this work, we imputed missing fine particulate matter (PM2.5) observations from eight years (2012–2019) of records in 59 air quality monitoring (AQM) stations in Israel, using no auxiliary data but the available PM2.5 observations. This was achieved by a new k-Nearest Neighbors multivariate imputation method (wkNNr) that uses the correlations between the AQM stations’ data to weigh the distance between the observations. The model was evaluated against an iterative imputation with an Ensemble of Extremely randomized decision Trees (iiET) on artificially and randomly removed data intervals of various lengths: very short (0.5–3 h, corresponding to 1–6 missing values), short (6–24 h), medium-length (36–72 h), long (10–30 d), and very long (30 d–2 y). The new wkNNr model outperformed the iiET in imputing very short missing-data intervals when the adjacent lagging and leading observations were added as model inputs. For longer missing-data intervals, despite its simplicity and the smaller number of hyperparameters required for tuning, the new model showed an almost comparable performance to the iiET. A parallel Python implementation of the new kNN-based multivariate imputation method is available on github. Full article
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16 pages, 2757 KiB  
Article
Simulation of Air Pollutants Emission by Trucks and Their Health Effects
by John Jairo Posada-Henao, Heliana Marcela Restrepo-Peña and Carlos A. González-Calderón
Atmosphere 2022, 13(10), 1691; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos13101691 - 15 Oct 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2204
Abstract
This paper analyzes the amount of truck emissions and their variations according to changes in travel schedules or routes and the impact on human health represented by cases of Acute Respiratory Infections (ARI) due to PM2.5 emissions in Medellín, Colombia. To accomplish [...] Read more.
This paper analyzes the amount of truck emissions and their variations according to changes in travel schedules or routes and the impact on human health represented by cases of Acute Respiratory Infections (ARI) due to PM2.5 emissions in Medellín, Colombia. To accomplish this, information on each vehicle was collected, including model, year, type of fuel used, Euro, and engine power trucks. The commercial vehicles were equipped with GPS to obtain second-to-second speed, location, acceleration, and deceleration; the rest of the data were provided by the vehicles’ owners. All this information was used to estimate emissions with the HBEFA model. The main findings show a decrease of approximately 38% in emissions by changing the truck circulation schedule to off-hours and a generation of 2.35 annual cases of ARI if the amount of PM2.5 increases 1 μg/m3. Moreover, this investigation proposes that the optimal inter-city speed for truck circulation is between 40 km/h and 50 km/h, and it is recommended that some cargo transport operations should be carried out during off-hours, especially at night. Full article
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19 pages, 5338 KiB  
Article
Using Low-Cost Sensors to Assess PM2.5 Concentrations at Four South Texan Cities on the U.S.—Mexico Border
by Esmeralda Mendez, Owen Temby, Dawid Wladyka, Katarzyna Sepielak and Amit U. Raysoni
Atmosphere 2022, 13(10), 1554; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos13101554 - 23 Sep 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 4287
Abstract
Low-cost sensors have been used considerably to characterize air pollution in the last few years. This study involves the usage of this technology for the first time to assess PM2.5 pollution at four cities on the U.S.–Mexico border. These cities in the [...] Read more.
Low-cost sensors have been used considerably to characterize air pollution in the last few years. This study involves the usage of this technology for the first time to assess PM2.5 pollution at four cities on the U.S.–Mexico border. These cities in the Lower Rio Grande Valley Region of South Texas are Brownsville, Edinburg, Weslaco, and Port Isabel. A year-long sampling campaign was undertaken from 1 March 2021 to 31 March 2022. TSI BlueSky™ Air Quality Monitors were deployed concurrently at 11 different locations in these four cities. Twenty-four-hour PM2.5 concentrations from these sensors were then compared with ambient PM2.5 data available at the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) Continuous Ambient Monitoring Station (CAMS) sites to elucidate spatial and temporal variability in the pollutant concentrations at the neighborhood level. The results indicate low to moderate spatial heterogeneity in the PM2.5 concentrations throughout the region. Our findings suggest that low-cost sensors in combination with CAMS sites have the potential to aid community monitoring for real-time spatiotemporal PM2.5 pollution patterns. Full article
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14 pages, 3277 KiB  
Article
Mechanism of Response of Alveolar Macrophages in Wistar Rats to the Composition of Atmospheric Suspensions
by Lyudmila S. Barskova, Tatyana I. Vitkina, Tatyana A. Gvozdenko, Elena V. Kondratyeva and Lyudmila V. Veremchuk
Atmosphere 2022, 13(9), 1500; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos13091500 - 15 Sep 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1360
Abstract
Atmospheric air quality is a crucial factor in the health of human populations. Suspended particulate matter (SPM) is one of the most dangerous components polluting urban air. The aim of the present article is to study the effect of model suspensions (MS) of [...] Read more.
Atmospheric air quality is a crucial factor in the health of human populations. Suspended particulate matter (SPM) is one of the most dangerous components polluting urban air. The aim of the present article is to study the effect of model suspensions (MS) of SPM that are characteristic of the composition of atmospheric air at locations with various anthropogenic loads on redox processes in alveolar macrophages (AM). Atmospheric air sampling was carried out in the breathing zone according to the method developed by one of the authors. AM were isolated from bronchoalveolar lavage fluid of experimental animals. The MS of SPM were prepared in accordance with the actual air pollution: MS No. 1 corresponded to an area with a low man-made load, and MS No. 2 corresponded to an area with a high man-made load. Load tests with model suspensions were carried out for 2 days. Parameters of oxidant processes and antioxidant system (AOS) were determined in cells and culture media. The proportion of the influence of the qualitative and dispersed composition of MS and the indicator of intra-system tension were calculated based on correlation dependencies. The atmospheric air with a high man-made load was dominated by particles up to 10 µm, whereas air with an insignificant man-made load contained SPM of more than 10 µm in size. Unidirectional changes were observed due to an exposure to both model suspensions, but the most pronounced oxidative modifications of lipids, proteins and genetic structures were caused by the exposure to MS No. 2. When exposed to MS No. 1, the AOS maintained the redox balance at the physiological level, localizing the resulting destruction inside the cells. MS No. 2 caused the redox balance to shift towards oxidants, potentiating the generalization of the destruction process. An increase in the content or a longer stress-inducing effect of PM2.5 causes a depletion in the reserve capacity of the AOS and the transition of destruction processes to the systemic level, which contributes to the development of the preconditions for environmentally dependent pathology. Full article
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20 pages, 2768 KiB  
Article
Improving Air Quality Standards in Europe: Comparative Analysis of Regional Differences, with a Focus on Northern Italy
by Angelo Robotto, Secondo Barbero, Pierangiola Bracco, Roberto Cremonini, Marco Ravina and Enrico Brizio
Atmosphere 2022, 13(5), 642; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos13050642 - 19 Apr 2022
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 2685
Abstract
The study reports a consistent comparison of emission inventories, concentration trends, and PM source apportionment in different European regions and, mostly, a thorough investigation of meteorological parameters influencing atmospheric pollutants’ dispersion. The study focuses on the reasons why Northern Italy still has difficulties [...] Read more.
The study reports a consistent comparison of emission inventories, concentration trends, and PM source apportionment in different European regions and, mostly, a thorough investigation of meteorological parameters influencing atmospheric pollutants’ dispersion. The study focuses on the reasons why Northern Italy still has difficulties complying with EU air quality standards for PM10 and NO2, despite strong emission reductions. The study demonstrates that, in the colder seasons, wind speed, PBL height, and atmospheric pressure in the Po basin are three to five times less efficient at diluting and dispersing pollutants than those occurring in regions north of the Alps. Since air quality standards aim at countering health impacts, it is advisable to consider atmospheric particulate toxicity in addition to PM10/PM2.5 mass concentration as a limit value. A discussion is reported about PM toxicity factors depending on source-specific aerosols and PM composition. We obtained PM toxicity factors that can vary by 10 times (according to carbonaceous content) across Europe, suggesting that, even at the same mass concentration, the effects of PM10/PM2.5 on human health are significantly variable. Modern PM source apportionment and reliable toxicity and epidemiological analyses represent the correct tools to build a new consistent health metric for ambient PM. Full article
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2021

Jump to: 2024, 2022

22 pages, 5190 KiB  
Article
Cordon Pricing, Daily Activity Pattern, and Exposure to Traffic-Related Air Pollution: A Case Study of New York City
by Amirhossein Baghestani, Mohammad Tayarani, Mahdieh Allahviranloo and H. Oliver Gao
Atmosphere 2021, 12(11), 1458; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos12111458 - 4 Nov 2021
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 3232
Abstract
Road pricing is advocated as an effective travel demand management strategy to alleviate traffic congestion and improve environmental conditions. This paper analyzes the impacts of cordon pricing on the population’s daily activity pattern and their exposure to particulate matter by integrating activity-based models [...] Read more.
Road pricing is advocated as an effective travel demand management strategy to alleviate traffic congestion and improve environmental conditions. This paper analyzes the impacts of cordon pricing on the population’s daily activity pattern and their exposure to particulate matter by integrating activity-based models with air quality and exposure models in the case of New York City. To estimate changes in public exposure under cordon pricing scenarios, we take a sample of employees and study their mobility behavior during the day, which is mainly attributed to the location of the work and the time spent at work. The selection of employees and their exposure during the duration of their work is due to the unavailability of exact activity patterns for each individual. We show that the Central Business District (CBD) experiences a high concentration of PM2.5 emissions. Results indicate that implementing cordon pricing scenarios can reduce the population-weighted mean of exposure to PM2.5 emissions by 7% to 13% for our sample and, in particular, by 22% to 28% for those who work in the CBD. Furthermore, using an experimental model and assuming constant conditions, we point out the positive influence on indoor exposure for two locations inside and outside the CBD in response to cordon pricing. Considering the correlation between long-term exposure to fine particulate matter and the risks of developing cardiovascular disease and lung cancer, our findings suggest that improved public health conditions could be provided by implementing cordon pricing in the New York City CBD. Full article
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28 pages, 5519 KiB  
Article
Comprehensive Air Quality Assessment of the Tobacco Heating System 2.2 under Simulated Indoor Environments
by Maya I. Mitova, Camille Cluse, Daniela Correia, Catherine G. Goujon-Ginglinger, Samuel Kleinhans, Laurent Poget and Sandra S. Sendyk
Atmosphere 2021, 12(8), 989; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos12080989 - 31 Jul 2021
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 5421
Abstract
Despite the growing popularity of heated tobacco products, there are few comprehensive studies on their environmental aerosols. Therefore, the impact of the Tobacco Heating System 2.2 (THS 2.2) on indoor air quality was evaluated on the basis of a comprehensive list of 31 [...] Read more.
Despite the growing popularity of heated tobacco products, there are few comprehensive studies on their environmental aerosols. Therefore, the impact of the Tobacco Heating System 2.2 (THS 2.2) on indoor air quality was evaluated on the basis of a comprehensive list of 31 airborne constituents along with targeted screening of the gas–vapor and particulate phases of the environmental aerosol. The assessments were conducted at three ventilation rates. Indoor use of THS 2.2 increased the levels of nicotine, acetaldehyde, glycerin, and (if mentholated products were used) menthol relative to background levels, with a corresponding increase in total volatile organic compounds (TVOC) values. Moreover, a temporary increase in ultrafine particles was observed when two or more tobacco sticks were used simultaneously or with a short time lapse between usages, but the concentrations returned to close to background levels almost immediately. This is because THS 2.2 generates an aerosol of liquid droplets, which evaporate quickly. Nicotine, acetaldehyde, glycerin, and TVOC levels were measured in the low μg/m3 range and were below the existing guideline limits. A comparison of airborne constituent levels during indoor THS 2.2 use with emissions from combustion products and common everyday activities revealed a substantially lower impact of THS 2.2 on the indoor environment. Full article
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11 pages, 225 KiB  
Article
Compilation and Evaluation of Ambient Respirable Crystalline Silica Air Quality Data near Sand Quarries and Processing Facilities
by John Richards and Todd Brozell
Atmosphere 2021, 12(7), 903; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos12070903 - 13 Jul 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2940
Abstract
Ambient respirable crystalline silica air quality is of concern to many communities near mineral processing facilities and to regulatory agencies serving these communities. Accurate air quality data are needed to compare measured respirable crystalline silica concentrations at the fencelines of mineral processing facilities [...] Read more.
Ambient respirable crystalline silica air quality is of concern to many communities near mineral processing facilities and to regulatory agencies serving these communities. Accurate air quality data are needed to compare measured respirable crystalline silica concentrations at the fencelines of mineral processing facilities with the published health effect guideline published by the California Office of Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA). This article is a compilation and evaluation of air quality studies around a diverse set of nineteen sand producing facilities. The respirable crystalline silica air quality data compiled by Air Control Techniques, P.C. and most of the data compiled by other researchers cited in this article have been measured using EPA Reference Method samplers adjusted for respirable crystalline silica sampling and NIOSH Method 7500 X-ray diffraction analyses. The authors conclude that (1) the ambient concentrations in the diverse set of mineral processing facilities were consistently lower than the 3.0 microgram per cubic meter chronic reference exposure level (REL) adopted by OEHHA, (2) upwind-to-downwind fenceline concentration differences were small, and (3) the fenceline t concentrations were often at background concentration levels. The authors recommend additional sampling studies to better characterize background concentrations of ambient respirable crystalline silica. Full article
13 pages, 6625 KiB  
Article
Associations between Incense-Burning Temples and Respiratory Mortality in Hong Kong
by Wen Hui Cai and Paulina Pui Yun Wong
Atmosphere 2021, 12(6), 774; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos12060774 - 16 Jun 2021
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 4334
Abstract
Incense burning is an important topic facing many countries in Asia. As a highly urbanized area, the overlapping of urban functional blocks in Hong Kong has resulted in many temples being located near residential and commercial areas. Therefore, the pollutants emitted by temples’ [...] Read more.
Incense burning is an important topic facing many countries in Asia. As a highly urbanized area, the overlapping of urban functional blocks in Hong Kong has resulted in many temples being located near residential and commercial areas. Therefore, the pollutants emitted by temples’ incense burning could cause severe health problems to the population. This study identified 366 Hong Kong temples and classified them into four categories: open, semi-closed, closed, and non-active, according to their incense burning characteristics. Among them, open temples have the largest average area and least quantity. Principal component analysis (PCA) indicated that building density, greenery density, water density, and temple weight are the most highly influencing factors. The temple weight is the only loading factor with a contributing factor from PC2, especially in 2006 and 2011. Furthermore, the linear regression model has been applied to analyze the correlation between variables. Although this study did not reach conclusive results about the actual impact of each temple type, the model results confirm that the temple is a sub-factor to respiratory mortality. This provides the theoretical foundation for government policy establishment of temple construction planning and community optimization in Asian cities. Full article
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13 pages, 2281 KiB  
Article
Metal(Loids) Bioaccessibility in Road Dust from the Surrounding Villages of an Active Mine
by Carla Candeias, Paula F. Ávila, Eduardo Ferreira da Silva and Fernando Rocha
Atmosphere 2021, 12(6), 685; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos12060685 - 27 May 2021
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 3236
Abstract
Human activities, in general, cause a significant impact on the environment and human health. The present study aims to characterize the road dust of villages located near an active mine and to assess metal(loids) bioaccessible fractions. From the collected road dust samples (<250 [...] Read more.
Human activities, in general, cause a significant impact on the environment and human health. The present study aims to characterize the road dust of villages located near an active mine and to assess metal(loids) bioaccessible fractions. From the collected road dust samples (<250 µm fraction), the pseudo total, gastric (G) and gastrointestinal (GI) phase (UBM assay) concentrations, mineralogical composition, enrichment factor (EF), and risk for humans were determined. The obtained results revealed that arsenic represents the highest risk to humans, with mean pseudototal values higher than the maximum reference value range. The enrichment factor pointed to As as having significant to very high enrichment in all of the villages. In addition, Cd presented the maximum EF values in all of the villages, and was thus classified as having a very high enrichment. Particles enriched in As, Ca, Fe, Cu, Al, and Ti were identified by SEM-EDS in weathered agglomerates, and were linked to mine wastes and long-distance transport through both wind and/or traffic. The arsenic bioaccessibility fraction (%BAF) presented low values in the studied samples, possibly because of the low complex solubility of Fe with adsorbed As, limiting the release of arsenic and reducing its bioaccessibility. The concentrations of bioaccessible Cd for the G and GI phases were within the reference range, while for Cu, they were above and for Pb they were lower than the reference value range. The results show that the pseudototal fraction risk is overestimated when compared with BAF%; nevertheless, the total G and GI risks were above the carcinogenic target risk (1 × 10−6) in most of the samples. The carcinogenic risk of the bioaccessible contaminants showed that As represented the higher risk for developing cancer over a lifetime, with ingestion being the main risk route. Full article
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15 pages, 10622 KiB  
Article
Air Quality Assessment in the State of Kuwait during 2012 to 2017
by Adeeba Al-Hurban, Sawsan Khader, Ahmad Alsaber and Jiazhu Pan
Atmosphere 2021, 12(6), 678; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos12060678 - 26 May 2021
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 4212
Abstract
This study aimed to examine the trend of ambient air pollution (i.e., ozone (O3), nitrogen monoxide (NO), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), nitrogen oxides (NOx), sulfur dioxide (SO2 [...] Read more.
This study aimed to examine the trend of ambient air pollution (i.e., ozone (O3), nitrogen monoxide (NO), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), nitrogen oxides (NOx), sulfur dioxide (SO2), carbon monoxide (CO), benzene (C6H6) and particulate matter with an aerodynamic diameter smaller than 10 microns (PM10), and non-methane hydrocarbons (NMHCs) at 10 monitoring stations located in the main residential and industrial areas in the State of Kuwait over 6 years (2012–2017). We found that the SO2 level in industrial areas (0.065 ppm) exceeded the allowable range of SO2 in residential areas (0.030 ppm). Air pollution variables were defined by the Environmental Public Authority of Kuwait (K-EPA). In this study, integrated statistical analysis was performed to compare an established air pollution database to Kuwait Ambient Air Quality Guidelines and to determine the association between pollutants and meteorological factors. All pollutants were positively correlated, with the exception of most pollutants and PM10 and O3. Meteorological factors, i.e., the ambient temperature, wind speed and humidity, were also significantly associated with the above pollutants. Spatial distribution mapping indicated that the PM10 level remained high during the southwest monsoon (the hot and dry season), while the CO level was high during the northeast monsoon (the wet season). The NO2 and O3 levels were high during the first intermonsoon season. Full article
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