Special Issue "Air Quality Monitoring and Assessment"

A special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601). This special issue belongs to the section "Environmental Science and Engineering".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 August 2019).

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Gianluigi de Gennaro
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Biology, University of Bari Aldo Moro, 70126 Bari, Italy
Interests: atmospheric chemistry and modeling; aerosol science; Indoor Air Quality (IAQ); Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), Particulate Matter (PM); breath analysis; monitoring strategies; odors monitoring; emissions from materials; sensors network; PM chemical characterization; sustainability; environmental health
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Dr. Jolanda Palmisani
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Biology, University of Bari Aldo Moro, 70126 Bari, Italy
Interests: atmospheric pollution; Indoor Air Quality (IAQ); Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs); Particulate Matter (PM); breath analysis; monitoring strategies; odors monitoring; emissions from materials and consumer products; primary and secondary pollutants; test emission chambers; sensors network; PM chemical characterization
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Dr. Alessia Di Gilio
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Biology, University of Bari Aldo Moro, via Orabona 4, 70126 Bari, Italy
Interests: atmospheric chemistry and modeling; Indoor Air Quality (IAQ); Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs); Particulate Matter (PM); breath analysis; monitoring strategies; odors monitoring; emissions from materials; sensors network; PM chemical characterization
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Anthropogenic activities related to industrialization and urbanization processes have lead, in the last decades, to increased emissions of organic and inorganic pollutants into the atmosphere. Particulate matter (e.g., PM10, PM2.5) is recognized as a high-concern pollutant with a significant impact on complex industrialized and urban areas, as scientific research combined with epidemiological studies have highlighted a relationship between PM concentration levels and chemical composition and several adverse effects on the exposed population. Although particle-bound organic and inorganic pollutants such as Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons, Dioxins and Dioxins-like compounds, and heavy metals contribute negligibly to the overall PM mass, their presence in the atmosphere has to be monitored and controlled due to known carcinogenic potency. Conventional methodological approches based on fixed-site measurement stations are commonly applied for outdoor air-quality monitoring. However, in several cases, high temporal and spatial resolution information coming from innovative and integrated technologies are  needed to identify the sources, to follow the fate of pollutants into the atmosphere, and to accurately evaluate the potential impact on the territory. Research and technological innovation are moving towards this direction, highlighting the importance of the development of synergistic approaches for air-quality assessment.

It has to be underlined, moreover, that inhalation exposure to pollutants of concern may occur both outdoors and indoors. In addition to intrusion phenomena from outdoors, the presence of pollutants (e.g., Volatile Organic Compounds, and particles) in indoor environments is related to emission processes from several sources. The use of materials in building and furniture construction added to the finishing products, the adoption of practices to prevent energy consumption leading to a progressive isolation of the buildings, and the use of cleaning products as well as the occupants’ habits may contribute to the deterioration of the Indoor-Air Quality (IAQ) and introduce potential risks for human health. Therefore, the evaluation of both outdoor- and indoor-air quality is necessary to establish plans and measures of prevention in order to reduce the potential effects on human health.

Prof. Gianluigi de Gennaro
Dr. Jolanda Palmisani
Dr. Alessia Di Gilio
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • Atmospheric pollution
  • Indoor Air Quality (IAQ)
  • Air quality assessment
  • Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)
  • Particulate matter (PM)
  • Odors
  • Innovative monitoring strategies.

Published Papers (20 papers)

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Open AccessArticle
Impact of Outdoor Air Pollution on Indoor Air Quality in Low-Income Homes during Wildfire Seasons
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(19), 3535; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16193535 - 21 Sep 2019
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 2153
Abstract
Indoor and outdoor number concentrations of fine particulate matter (PM2.5), black carbon (BC), carbon monoxide (CO), and nitrogen dioxide (NO2) were monitored continuously for two to seven days in 28 low-income homes in Denver, Colorado, during the 2016 and [...] Read more.
Indoor and outdoor number concentrations of fine particulate matter (PM2.5), black carbon (BC), carbon monoxide (CO), and nitrogen dioxide (NO2) were monitored continuously for two to seven days in 28 low-income homes in Denver, Colorado, during the 2016 and 2017 wildfire seasons. In the absence of indoor sources, all outdoor pollutant concentrations were higher than indoors except for CO. Results showed that long-range wildfire plumes elevated median indoor PM2.5 concentrations by up to 4.6 times higher than outdoors. BC, CO, and NO2 mass concentrations were higher indoors in homes closer to roadways compared to those further away. Four of the homes with mechanical ventilation systems had 18% higher indoor/outdoor (I/O) ratios of PM2.5 and 4% higher I/O ratios of BC compared to other homes. Homes with exhaust stove hoods had PM2.5 I/O ratios 49% less than the homes with recirculating hoods and 55% less than the homes with no stove hoods installed. Homes with windows open for more than 12 hours a day during sampling had indoor BC 2.4 times higher than homes with windows closed. This study provides evidence that long-range wildfire plumes, road proximity, and occupant behavior have a combined effect on indoor air quality in low-income homes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Air Quality Monitoring and Assessment)
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Open AccessArticle
Spatiotemporal Variability and Influencing Factors of Aerosol Optical Depth over the Pan Yangtze River Delta during the 2014–2017 Period
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(19), 3522; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16193522 - 20 Sep 2019
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1059
Abstract
Large amounts of aerosol particles suspended in the atmosphere pose a serious challenge to the climate and human health. In this study, we produced a dataset through merging the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectrometers (MODIS) Collection 6.1 3-km resolution Dark Target aerosol optical depth [...] Read more.
Large amounts of aerosol particles suspended in the atmosphere pose a serious challenge to the climate and human health. In this study, we produced a dataset through merging the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectrometers (MODIS) Collection 6.1 3-km resolution Dark Target aerosol optical depth (DT AOD) with the 10-km resolution Deep Blue aerosol optical depth (DB AOD) data by linear regression and made use of it to unravel the spatiotemporal characteristics of aerosols over the Pan Yangtze River Delta (PYRD) region from 2014 to 2017. Then, the geographical detector method and multiple linear regression analysis were employed to investigate the contributions of influencing factors. Results indicate that: (1) compared to the original Terra DT and Aqua DT AOD data, the average daily spatial coverage of the merged AOD data increased by 94% and 132%, respectively; (2) the values of four-year average AOD were high in the north-east and low in the south-west of the PYRD; (3) the annual average AOD showed a decreasing trend from 2014 to 2017 while the seasonal average AOD reached its maximum in spring; and that (4) Digital Elevation Model (DEM) and slope contributed most to the spatial distribution of AOD, followed by precipitation and population density. Our study highlights the spatiotemporal variability of aerosol optical depth and the contributions of different factors over this large geographical area in the four-year period, and can, therefore, provide useful insights into the air pollution control for decision makers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Air Quality Monitoring and Assessment)
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Open AccessArticle
Effects of Water Removal Devices on Ambient Inorganic Air Pollutant Measurements
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(18), 3446; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16183446 - 17 Sep 2019
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 778
Abstract
Water vapor is a pivotal obstacle when measuring ambient air pollutants. The effects of water vapor removal devices which are called KPASS (Key-compound PASSer) and Cooler. On the measurement of O3, SO2, and CO at ambient levels were investigated. [...] Read more.
Water vapor is a pivotal obstacle when measuring ambient air pollutants. The effects of water vapor removal devices which are called KPASS (Key-compound PASSer) and Cooler. On the measurement of O3, SO2, and CO at ambient levels were investigated. Concentrations of O3, SO2, and CO were 100 ppb, 150 ppb, and 25 ppm, respectively. The amount of water vapor varied at different relative humidity levels of 30%, 50%, and 80% when the temperature was 25 °C and the pressure was 1 atm. Water vapor removal efficiencies and recovery rates of target gases were also determined. The KPASS showed a better performance than the Cooler device, removing 93.6% of water vapor and the Cooler removing 59.2%. In terms of recovery, the KPASS showed a better recovery of target gases than the Cooler. Consequently, it is suggested that the KPASS should be an alternative way to remove water vapor when measuring O3, SO2, and CO. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Air Quality Monitoring and Assessment)
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Open AccessArticle
Antibiotic Resistance of Airborne Viable Bacteria and Size Distribution in Neonatal Intensive Care Units
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(18), 3340; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16183340 - 10 Sep 2019
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1737
Abstract
Despite their significant impact on public health, antibiotic resistance and size distributions of airborne viable bacteria in indoor environments in neonatal intensive care units (NICU) remain understudied. Therefore, the objective of this study was to assess the antibiotic resistance of airborne viable bacteria [...] Read more.
Despite their significant impact on public health, antibiotic resistance and size distributions of airborne viable bacteria in indoor environments in neonatal intensive care units (NICU) remain understudied. Therefore, the objective of this study was to assess the antibiotic resistance of airborne viable bacteria for different sizes (0.65–7 µm) in private-style and public-style neonatal intensive care units (NICU). Airborne bacteria concentrations were assessed by a six-stage Andersen impactor, operating at 28.3 L/min. Public-style NICU revealed higher concentrations of airborne viable bacteria (53.00 to 214.37 CFU/m3) than private-style NICU (151.94–466.43), indicating a possible threat to health. In the public-style NICU, Staphylococcus was the highest bacterial genera identified in the present study, were Staphylococcus saprophyticus and Staphylococcus epidermidis predominated, especially in the second bronchi and alveoli size ranges. Alloiococcus otitidis, Bacillus subtiles, Bacillus thuringiensis, Kocuria rosea, and Pseudomonas pseudoalcaligene, were identified in the alveoli size range. In NICU#2, eight species were identified in the alveoli size range: Bacillus cereus, Bacillus subtilis, Bacillus thuringiensis, Eikenella corrodens, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Staphylococcus aureus, Staphylococcus epidermidis, and Streptococcus gordoni. Multi-drug-resistant organisms (MDROs) were found in both of the NICUs. Bacillus cereus strains were resistant to Ampicillin, Cefoxitin, Ceftaroline, and Penicillin G. Staphylococcus cohnii ssp. cohnii was resistant in parallel to ampicillin and G penicillin. Staphylococcus saprophyticus strains were resistant to Ampicillin, Penicillin G, Oxaxilin, and Erythromycin. Results may indicate a potential threat to human health due to the airborne bacteria concentration and their antibiotic resistance ability. The results may provide evidence for the need of interventions to reduce indoor airborne particle concentrations and their transfer to premature infants with underdeveloped immune systems, even though protocols for visitors and cleaning are well-established. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Air Quality Monitoring and Assessment)
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Open AccessArticle
Comparative Analysis of Long-Term Variation Characteristics of SO2, NO2, and O3 in the Ecological and Economic Zones of the Western Sichuan Plateau, Southwest China
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(18), 3265; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16183265 - 05 Sep 2019
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 964
Abstract
Sulfur dioxide (SO2), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), and ozone (O3) are important atmospheric pollutants that affect air quality. The long-term variations of SO2 and NO2 in 2008–2018 and O3 in 2015–2018 in the relatively less [...] Read more.
Sulfur dioxide (SO2), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), and ozone (O3) are important atmospheric pollutants that affect air quality. The long-term variations of SO2 and NO2 in 2008–2018 and O3 in 2015–2018 in the relatively less populated ecological and economic zones of Western Sichuan Plateau, Southwest China were analyzed. In 2008–2018, the variations in SO2 and NO2 in the ecological zone were not significant, but Ganzi showed a slight upward trend. SO2 decreased significantly in the economic zone, especially in Panzhihua, where NO2 changes were not obvious. From 2015 to 2018, the concentration of O3 in the ecological zone increased significantly, while the economic zone showed a downward trend. The rising trend of the concentration ratio of SO2 to NO2 in the ecological zone and the declining trend in the economic zone indicate that the energy consumption structure of these two zones is quite different. The lower correlation coefficients between NO2 and O3 in the Western Sichuan Plateau imply that the variations of O3 are mainly affected by the regional background. The effects of meteorological factors on SO2, NO2, and O3 were more obvious in the economic zone where there are high anthropometric emissions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Air Quality Monitoring and Assessment)
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Open AccessArticle
Understanding the Spatial-Temporal Patterns and Influential Factors on Air Quality Index: The Case of North China
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(16), 2820; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16162820 - 07 Aug 2019
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1465
Abstract
North China has become one of the worst air quality regions in China and the world. Based on the daily air quality index (AQI) monitoring data in 96 cities from 2014–2016, the spatiotemporal patterns of AQI in North China were investigated, then the [...] Read more.
North China has become one of the worst air quality regions in China and the world. Based on the daily air quality index (AQI) monitoring data in 96 cities from 2014–2016, the spatiotemporal patterns of AQI in North China were investigated, then the influence of meteorological and socio-economic factors on AQI was discussed by statistical analysis and ESDA-GWR (exploratory spatial data analysis-geographically weighted regression) model. The principal results are as follows: (1) The average annual AQI from 2014–2016 exceeded or were close to the Grade II standard of Chinese Ambient Air Quality (CAAQ), although the area experiencing heavy pollution decreased. Meanwhile, the positive spatial autocorrelation of AQI was enhanced in the sample period. (2) The occurrence of a distinct seasonal cycle in air pollution which exhibit a sinusoidal pattern of fluctuations and can be described as “heavy winter and light summer.” Although the AQI generally decreased in other seasons, the air pollution intensity increased in winter with the rapid expansion of higher AQI value in the southern of Hebei and Shanxi. (3) The correlation analysis of daily meteorological factors and AQI shows that air quality can be significantly improved when daily precipitation exceeds 10 mm. In addition, except for O3, wind speed has a negative correlation with AQI and major pollutants, which was most significant in winter. Meanwhile, pollutants are transmitted dynamically under the influence of the prevailing wind direction, which can result in the relocation of AQI. (4) According to ESDA-GWR analysis, on an annual scale, car ownership and industrial production are positively correlated with air pollution; whereas increase of wind speed, per capita gross domestic product (GDP), and forest coverage are conducive to reducing pollution. Local coefficients show spatial differences in the effects of different factors on the AQI. Empirical results of this study are helpful for the government departments to formulate regionally differentiated governance policies regarding air pollution. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Air Quality Monitoring and Assessment)
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Open AccessArticle
Modeling Impacts of Highway Circular Curve Elements on Heavy-Duty Diesel Trucks’ CO2 Emissions
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(14), 2514; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16142514 - 14 Jul 2019
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1013
Abstract
Heavy-duty trucks contribute a significant component of all transportation in cargo terminals, such as Shaanxi Province, China. The emissions from these vehicles are the primary source of carbon emissions during highway operations. While several studies have attempted to address emission issues by improving [...] Read more.
Heavy-duty trucks contribute a significant component of all transportation in cargo terminals, such as Shaanxi Province, China. The emissions from these vehicles are the primary source of carbon emissions during highway operations. While several studies have attempted to address emission issues by improving traffic operations, a few focused on the relationship between emissions and highway geometric design, especially for heavy-duty trucks. The primary goal of this research was to understand the impact of circular curve on carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions produced by heavy-duty diesel trucks. Firstly, appropriate parameters were specified in MOVES (motor vehicle emission simulator) model according to the geometrical characteristics. Fuel consumption, speed and location data were collected by hiring five skilled drivers on the automotive proving ground located at Chang’an University, Shaanxi Province. The associated carbon emission data were derived from fuel consumption data by applying the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) method. After this, the applicability of MOVES model was verified by the field experiment. Moreover, a multiple regression model for CO2 emissions incorporated with roadway segment radius, circular curve length, and initial vehicle speed was established with data generated by the MOVES model. The proposed CO2 emission model was also verified by field experiment with relative error of 6.17%. It was found that CO2 emission had monotone decreasing property with radius increasing, and the minimum radius that influenced diesel CO2 emission was 550 m. The proposed quantitative CO2 emission model can provide a reference for low-carbon highway design, leading to environment-friendly transportation construction. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Air Quality Monitoring and Assessment)
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Open AccessArticle
Monitoring of Air-Dispersed Formaldehyde and Carbonyl Compounds as Vapors and Adsorbed on Particulate Matter by Denuder-Filter Sampling and Gas Chromatographic Analysis
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(11), 1969; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16111969 - 03 Jun 2019
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1144
Abstract
Carbonyl compounds (CCs) are products present both as vapors and as condensed species adsorbed on the carbonaceous particle matter dispersed in the air of urban areas, due to vehicular traffic and human activities. Chronic exposure to CCs is a potential health risk given [...] Read more.
Carbonyl compounds (CCs) are products present both as vapors and as condensed species adsorbed on the carbonaceous particle matter dispersed in the air of urban areas, due to vehicular traffic and human activities. Chronic exposure to CCs is a potential health risk given the toxicity of these chemicals. The present study reports on the measurement of the concentrations of 14 CCs in air as vapors and 2.5 µm fraction PM by the ENVINT GAS08/16 gas/aerosol sampler, a serial sampler that uses annular denuder, as sampling device. The 14 CCs were derivatized during sampling prior to gas-chromatographic separation and multiple detection by mass spectrometry, nitrogen-phosphorus thermionic, electron capture detection. Outdoor air multiple samples were collected in four locations in the urban area of Florence. The results evidenced that formaldehyde, acetaldehyde, and acetone were the more abundant CCs in the studied areas. The data collected was discussed considering the particle to vapor ratio of each CC found. The CCs pollution picture obtained was tentatively related to the nature and intensity of the traffic transiting by the sampling sites. This approach allowed to determine 14 CCs in both concentrated and diluted samples and is proposed as a tool for investigating outdoor and indoor pollution. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Air Quality Monitoring and Assessment)
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Open AccessArticle
Difference of Airborne Particulate Matter Concentration in Urban Space with Different Green Coverage Rates in Baoji, China
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(8), 1465; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16081465 - 25 Apr 2019
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1363
Abstract
With the acceleration of urbanization and industrialization, the problem of airborne particulate pollution has become more and more serious. Green areas in urban spaces with different green coverage rates in Baoji City were selected to quantitatively compare the effects and differences of month, [...] Read more.
With the acceleration of urbanization and industrialization, the problem of airborne particulate pollution has become more and more serious. Green areas in urban spaces with different green coverage rates in Baoji City were selected to quantitatively compare the effects and differences of month, time, temperature, humidity, wind velocity, vegetation structure, and area of site on PM2.5 and PM10 concentration. The results showed that increasing the urban green coverage rate will help to improve the green area’s reduction of airborne particulate matter concentration and the selected factors affecting the green area’s reduction ability were discrepant in urban spaces with different green coverage rates. With the decrease of the green coverage rate, the purification effect of green area itself on air particles was weakened, and other factors, such as meteorological conditions and human activities, became the dominant influencing factors. Vegetation structure only had significant effects on the concentration of PM2.5 and PM10 in green areas of urban space with a green coverage rate greater than 75%. The concentration of PM2.5 and PM10 were lowest in the partly closed green area of one-layered coniferous trees and the closed green area of one-layered mixed trees. The research shows that green areas in urban spaces with different green coverage rates have different reduction effects on the concentration of airborne particles, which provides a theoretical basis and reference for the optimization of green area structures and to improve air quality effectively in the future. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Air Quality Monitoring and Assessment)
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Open AccessArticle
Application of the Orthogonal Polynomial Fitting Method in Estimating PM2.5 Concentrations in Central and Southern Regions of China
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(8), 1418; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16081418 - 19 Apr 2019
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1075
Abstract
Sufficient and accurate air pollutant data are essential to analyze and control air contamination problems. An orthogonal polynomial fitting (OPF) method using Chebyshev basis functions is introduced to produce spatial distributions of fine particle (PM2.5) concentrations in central and southern regions [...] Read more.
Sufficient and accurate air pollutant data are essential to analyze and control air contamination problems. An orthogonal polynomial fitting (OPF) method using Chebyshev basis functions is introduced to produce spatial distributions of fine particle (PM2.5) concentrations in central and southern regions of China. Idealized twin experiments (IE1 and IE2) are designed to validate the feasibility of the OPF method. IE1 is designed in accordance with the most common distribution of PM2.5 concentrations in China, whereas IE2 represents a common distribution in spring and autumn. In both idealized experiments, prescribed distributions are successfully estimated by the OPF method with smaller errors than kriging or Cressman interpolations. In practical experiments, cross-validation is employed to assess the interpolation results. Distributions of PM2.5 concentrations are well improved when OPF is applied. This suggests that errors decrease when the fitting order increases and arrives at the minimum when both orders reach 6. Results calculated by the OPF method are more accurate than kriging and Cressman interpolations if appropriate fitting orders are selected in practical experiments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Air Quality Monitoring and Assessment)
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Open AccessArticle
Influence of Straw Burning on Urban Air Pollutant Concentrations in Northeast China
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(8), 1379; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16081379 - 17 Apr 2019
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 1378
Abstract
Northeast China is China’s primary grain production base. A large amount of crop straw is incinerated every spring and autumn, which greatly impacts air quality. To study the degree of influence of straw burning on urban pollutant concentrations, this study used The Moderate-Resolution [...] Read more.
Northeast China is China’s primary grain production base. A large amount of crop straw is incinerated every spring and autumn, which greatly impacts air quality. To study the degree of influence of straw burning on urban pollutant concentrations, this study used The Moderate-Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer/Terra Thermal Anomalies & Fire Daily L3 Global 1 km V006 (MOD14A1) and The Moderate-Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer/Aqua Thermal Anomalies and Fire Daily L3 Global 1 km V006 (MYD14A1) data from 2015 to 2017 to extract fire spot data on arable land burning and to study the spatial distribution characteristics of straw burning on urban pollutant concentrations, temporal variation characteristics and impact thresholds. The results show that straw burning in Northeast China is concentrated in spring and autumn; the seasonal spatial distributions of PM2.5, PM10 andAir Quality Index (AQI) in 41 cities or regions in Northeast China correspond to the seasonal variation of fire spots; and pollutants appear in the peak periods of fire spots. In areas where the concentration coefficient of rice or corn is greater than 1, the number of fire spots has a strong correlation with the urban pollution index. The correlation coefficient R between the number of burned fire spots and the pollutant concentration has a certain relationship with the urban distribution. Cities are aggregated in geospatial space with different R values. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Air Quality Monitoring and Assessment)
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Open AccessArticle
Spatiotemporal Pattern of Fine Particulate Matter and Impact of Urban Socioeconomic Factors in China
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(7), 1099; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16071099 - 27 Mar 2019
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1308
Abstract
Frequent hazy weather has been one of the most obvious air problems accompanying China’s rapid urbanization. As one of the main components of haze pollution, fine particulate matter (PM2.5), which severely affects environmental quality and people’s health, has attracted wide attention. [...] Read more.
Frequent hazy weather has been one of the most obvious air problems accompanying China’s rapid urbanization. As one of the main components of haze pollution, fine particulate matter (PM2.5), which severely affects environmental quality and people’s health, has attracted wide attention. This study investigated the PM2.5 distribution, changing trends and impact of urban factors based on remote-sensing PM2.5 concentration data from 2000 to 2015, combining land-use data and socioeconomic data, and using the least-squares method and structural equation model (SEM). The results showed that the high concentration of PM2.5 in China was mainly concentrated in the eastern part of China and Sichuan Province. The trends of the PM2.5 concentration in eastern part and Northeast China, Sichuan, and Guangxi Provinces were positive. Meanwhile, the ratios of increasing trends were strongest in built-up land and agricultural land, and the decreasing trends were strongest in forest and grassland, but the overall trends were still growing. The SEM results indicated that economic factors contributed most to PM2.5 pollution, followed by demographic factors and spatial factors. Among all observed variables, the secondary industrial GDP had the highest impact on PM2.5 pollution. Based on the above results, PM2.5 pollution remains an important environmental issue in China at present and even in the future. It is necessary for decision-makers to make actions and policies from macroscopic and microscopic, long-term and short-term aspects to reduce pollution. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Air Quality Monitoring and Assessment)
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Open AccessArticle
Does the “Miracle Drug” of Environmental Governance Really Improve Air Quality? Evidence from China’s System of Central Environmental Protection Inspections
by and
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(5), 850; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16050850 - 08 Mar 2019
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 1387
Abstract
Central environmental protection inspections have completed their goal of full coverage of 31 provinces in China, and more than 17,000 officials have been held accountable. The media has evaluated the effectiveness of central environmental protection inspections using the notions of “instant results” and [...] Read more.
Central environmental protection inspections have completed their goal of full coverage of 31 provinces in China, and more than 17,000 officials have been held accountable. The media has evaluated the effectiveness of central environmental protection inspections using the notions of “instant results” and the “miracle drug of environmental governance.” Can this approach effectively promote local environmental governance? This paper takes the treatment effect of central environmental protection inspections on air pollution as an example. Using the method of regression discontinuity, central environmental protection inspections are found to have a positive effect on the air quality index (AQI), but this effect is only short term and unsustainable. Additionally, there are inter-provincial differences. Judging from the research results on sub-contaminants, the treatment effect of central environmental protection inspections on air pollution is mainly reflected in PM10, PM2.5 and CO. Under the current situation in which PM10 and PM2.5 are the main assessment indexes, this phenomenon indicates that due to the political achievements and promotion of local officials and for reasons of accountability, it is more effective for the central government to conduct specific environmental assessments through local governments than to conduct central environmental protection inspections. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Air Quality Monitoring and Assessment)
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Open AccessArticle
Strategically Patrolling in a Chemical Cluster Addressing Gas Pollutants’ Releases through a Game-Theoretic Model
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(4), 612; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16040612 - 20 Feb 2019
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 973
Abstract
Chemical production activities in chemical clusters, if not well managed, will pose great threats to the surrounding air environment and impose great burden on emergency handling. Therefore, it is urgent and substantial in a chemical cluster to develop proper and suitable pollution controlling [...] Read more.
Chemical production activities in chemical clusters, if not well managed, will pose great threats to the surrounding air environment and impose great burden on emergency handling. Therefore, it is urgent and substantial in a chemical cluster to develop proper and suitable pollution controlling strategies for an inspection agency to monitor chemical production processes. Apart from the static monitoring resources (e.g., monitoring stations and gas sensor modules), patrolling by mobile vehicle resources is arranged for better detecting the illegal releasing behaviors of emission spots in different chemical plants. However, it has been proven that the commonly used patrolling strategies (i.e., the fixed route strategy and the purely randomized route strategy) are non-optimal and fail to interact with intelligent chemical plants. Therefore, we proposed the Chemical Cluster Environmental Protection Patrolling (CCEPP) game to tackle the problem in this paper. Through combining the source estimation process, the game is modeled to detect the illegal releasing behaviors of chemical plants by randomly and strategically arranging the patrolling routes and intensities in different chemical sites. In this game-theoretic model, players (patroller and chemical sites), strategies, payoffs, and game solvers are modeled in sequence. More importantly, this game model also considers traffic delays or bounded cognition of patrollers on patrolling plans. Therefore, a discrete Markov decision process was used to model this stochastic process. Further, the model is illustrated by a case study. Results imply that the patrolling strategy suggested by the CCEPP game outperforms both the fixed route strategy and the purely randomized route strategy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Air Quality Monitoring and Assessment)
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Open AccessArticle
Characterization and Source Identification of Polybrominated Diphenyl Ethers (PBDEs) in Air in Xi’an: Based on a Five-Year Study
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(3), 520; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16030520 - 12 Feb 2019
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1232
Abstract
In order to assess polybrominated diphenyl ether (PBDE) atmospheric pollution levels in Xi’an, air samples were collected using a large flow air sampler from July 2008 to April 2013. In total, 134 samples were collected and 12 PBDE congeners were detected. Total PBDE [...] Read more.
In order to assess polybrominated diphenyl ether (PBDE) atmospheric pollution levels in Xi’an, air samples were collected using a large flow air sampler from July 2008 to April 2013. In total, 134 samples were collected and 12 PBDE congeners were detected. Total PBDE concentrations (both gaseous and particulate phase) were 36.38–1054 pg/m3, with an average of 253.2 ± 198.4 pg/m3. BDE-209 was identified as the main PBDE component, with a corresponding concentration of 0.00–1041 pg/m3, accounting for 89.4% of total PBDEs. Principal component analysis results showed that PBDEs in Xi’an’s atmosphere mainly originated from commercial products containing penta-BDE, octa-BDE, and deca-BDE. The relative natural logarithm for partial pressure (RP) of PBDEs (gaseous phase) was calculated using the Clausius–Clapeyron equation. The gas flow trajectories at high, middle, and low RP values were analyzed by applying the backward trajectory model. These data indicated that the difference between trajectory distribution and concentration load on trajectories was huge under different RP values. PBDE concentrations (gaseous phase) weighted trajectory showed that the central and southwestern parts of Henan Province and the northwestern area of Hubei Province exhibited the darkest colors, and the daily average concentration contribution of PBDEs to the receiving point was >9 pg/m3, which indicates that these areas might be the main potential source areas of PBDEs in Xi’an’s atmosphere. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Air Quality Monitoring and Assessment)
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Open AccessArticle
Potential of Thirteen Urban Greening Plants to Capture Particulate Matter on Leaf Surfaces across Three Levels of Ambient Atmospheric Pollution
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(3), 402; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16030402 - 31 Jan 2019
Cited by 14 | Viewed by 1864
Abstract
The potential of urban greening plants to capture particulate matter (PM) from the ambient atmosphere is contingent on interactions between the level of pollution and leaf surfaces. For this study, thirteen plant species were investigated to quantify their capacity of PM accumulation under [...] Read more.
The potential of urban greening plants to capture particulate matter (PM) from the ambient atmosphere is contingent on interactions between the level of pollution and leaf surfaces. For this study, thirteen plant species were investigated to quantify their capacity of PM accumulation under three atmospheric environments, that is, industrial, traffic and university campus (control), in Kunming City (Southwest China). The sampled sites represented different pollution levels (that is, high pollution, slight pollution and clean air, respectively). The plant species differed in their accumulation of PM by six- to eight-fold across the three sites. Magnolia grandiflora was the most efficient evergreen tree species, whereas Platanus acerifolia had the highest capture of PM among deciduous trees. The accumulation capacity of the same species varied with the degree of pollution. For example, Osmanthus fragrans, Loropetalum chinense and Cinnamomum japonicum were highly efficient for the capture of PM in the traffic and university campus areas; however, they exhibited medium accumulation in the industrial area. Prunus majestica demonstrated an intermediate accumulation capacity in the industrial area, but was low in the traffic and university campus areas. The capturing capacity of the same genus was also different among the different levels of pollution. For example, C. japonicum had a 2.9–4.2-times higher PM accumulation than did C. camphora across the three sites. There were significant differences in leaf surface area, stomata density/length, guard cell area, and trichome density/length among these species. The species-specific efficacy of PM capture was primarily contributed to by leaf size and surface roughness, stomata density, and trichome length. In particular, hairy-leaf leaves with medium stomatal density exhibited higher PM capture. Therefore, leaf micromorphology, leaf size and longevity appeared to be significant predictive factors for the accumulation of PM, which may aid in the selection of greening plant species for the remediation of pollutants in urban areas. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Air Quality Monitoring and Assessment)
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Open AccessArticle
Seasonal Characteristics and Particle-size Distributions of Particulate Air Pollutants in Urumqi
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(3), 396; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16030396 - 31 Jan 2019
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 1386
Abstract
Urban particulate air pollution is a known cause of adverse human health effects worldwide. Urumqi is a large oasis city in which rapid urbanization has caused a series of eco-environmental problems including serious air pollution, water shortage, dense population, excess energy consumption, and [...] Read more.
Urban particulate air pollution is a known cause of adverse human health effects worldwide. Urumqi is a large oasis city in which rapid urbanization has caused a series of eco-environmental problems including serious air pollution, water shortage, dense population, excess energy consumption, and the creation of an urban heat island, among others. Coal is the most important source of energy and air pollutants that are poorly dispersed into the natural surroundings are the main reasons for serious pollution in the Urumqi urban area. Using differential optical absorption spectroscopy (DOAS), aerosol levels were determined using the double optical path method. We found that aerosol concentrations in Urumqi increased rapidly in winter, and that the concentration of fine particles was much higher than that of coarse particles. The background aerosol concentration was highest in winter in the research area, and the air-flow speed had a significant impact on this because high speed surface winds that correspond to high air flows can transport the aerosol to other places. Some of the observed day-to-night differences may be caused by differing wind directions that transport air masses from different emission sources during the day and the night. Daily and seasonal differences in PM1.0 concentrations of different grades of polluted air were statistically analyzed using average daily concentration data for particles smaller than 10, 2.5 and 1.0 microns (PM10, PM2.5 and PM1.0), and meteorological observations for Urumqi, Tianshan District in 2010. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Air Quality Monitoring and Assessment)
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Open AccessArticle
Seasonal Variation and Quality Assessment of the Major and Trace Elements of Atmospheric Dust in a Typical Karst City, Southwest China
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(3), 325; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16030325 - 24 Jan 2019
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1135
Abstract
Atmospheric dust plays an important role in bio-geochemical cycling and the ecological environment. In urban areas, atmospheric dust is more likely to be the carrier of pollutants, thus affecting the air quality of cities. In this study, samples of atmospheric dust were collected [...] Read more.
Atmospheric dust plays an important role in bio-geochemical cycling and the ecological environment. In urban areas, atmospheric dust is more likely to be the carrier of pollutants, thus affecting the air quality of cities. In this study, samples of atmospheric dust were collected monthly for one year in Guiyang City, and the contents of major and trace elements in the dust were determined. The results showed that the major and trace elements in the atmospheric dust of Guiyang city vary with the seasons. The concentrations of trace elements in the dust of autumn and winter were significantly higher than those in spring and summer. Most of the major elements in dust were higher than those in the corresponding topsoil, while most trace elements were similar to those in the topsoil except for Pb. The enrichment factor (EF) values calculated by topsoil as background showed that the Ca and Pb have higher EF values than the rest elements, indicating that some dust may be contaminated by Ca and Pb. The high content of Ca in the dust might be derived from concrete buildings in urban areas, while Pb might be closely related to motor vehicle emissions. The relationship between La and Yb of the atmospheric dust showed that the dust in Guiyang have the same pattern as those of Libo, it also revealed that these dust probably come mainly from natural sources and are less affected by human activities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Air Quality Monitoring and Assessment)
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Open AccessArticle
Chemical Composition and Deposition Fluxes of Water-Soluble Inorganic Ions on Dry and Wet Deposition Samples in Wuhan, China
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(1), 132; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16010132 - 06 Jan 2019
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1424
Abstract
Measurement of PM2.5 concentration, dry and wet deposition of water-soluble inorganic ions (WSII) and their deposition flux was carried out. During sampling, a total number of 31 samples of PM2.5, five wet deposition samples and seven dry deposition samples were [...] Read more.
Measurement of PM2.5 concentration, dry and wet deposition of water-soluble inorganic ions (WSII) and their deposition flux was carried out. During sampling, a total number of 31 samples of PM2.5, five wet deposition samples and seven dry deposition samples were collected. The analyses results showed that the average concentration of PM2.5 was 122.95 µg/m3 whilst that of WSII was 51.63 µg/m3, equivalent to 42% of the total mass of PM2.5. The correlation coefficients between WSII in samples of PM2.5 was significant (r = 0.50 and p-value of 0.0019). Ions of   SO 4 2 , NO 3 , Cl , and   NH 4 + were dominant in the entire samples (PM2.5, dry and wet depositions), nevertheless, the average concentration of both SO 4 2 and Cl were below the China environmental quality standard for surface water. The ratio of dominant anions in wet deposition ( SO 4 2 / NO 3 ) was 1.59, whilst that for dry deposition ( SO 4 2 / Cl ) was 1.4, indicating that acidity was mainly derived from sulphate. In the case of dominant cations, the dry and wet deposition ratios ( Ca 2 + / NH 4 + ) were 1.36 and 1.37, respectively, suggesting the alkaline substances were mainly dominated by calcium salts. Days with higher recorded concentrations of PM2.5 were accompanied by dry and warm boundary layer structure, weak low-level wind and strong inversion layer. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Air Quality Monitoring and Assessment)
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Open AccessTechnical Note
Reliability of Low-Cost, Sensor-Based Fine Dust Measurement Devices for Monitoring Atmospheric Particulate Matter Concentrations
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(8), 1430; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16081430 - 22 Apr 2019
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1354
Abstract
Currently, low-cost, sensor-based fine dust measurement devices are commercially available in South Korea. This study evaluated the reliability of three such devices—Yi Shan A4, Plantower PMS7003, and Plantower PMS7003—in comparison to long-term consecutive monitoring systems for discharge and prevention facilities regarding fine dust [...] Read more.
Currently, low-cost, sensor-based fine dust measurement devices are commercially available in South Korea. This study evaluated the reliability of three such devices—Yi Shan A4, Plantower PMS7003, and Plantower PMS7003—in comparison to long-term consecutive monitoring systems for discharge and prevention facilities regarding fine dust control. The performance of these devices for concentration intervals over time was examined through real-time comparison using a GRIMM (Model: 11-A, dust spectrometer from Grimm Technologies) as a reference; this included a correction factor (C-Factor), calculated by a gravimetric method and an equivalence test. For comparison, the reference and target devices were installed in a chamber with fine dust concentrations of 2 µg/m3, with temperature and humidity maintained at 20 °C and 40%, respectively. The fine particulate matter (PM)2.5 concentrations were classified into five intervals: ≤40 µg/m3, 40–80 µg/m3, 80–120 µg/m3, 120–160 µg/m3, and 200–230 µg/m3. Statistical analysis was performed using data obtained from national stations for monitoring and controlling fine dust released from facilities under high fine dust loading conditions. The results showed that the measurements of all target devices, which were corrected according to the reference device, provided accurate values at PM2.5 concentrations of ≥40 µg/m3. The statistical analysis results suggest that the evaluated devices are more reliable than the conventional numerical-analysis-based monitoring system Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Air Quality Monitoring and Assessment)
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