Gift Guide

Air Quality in Urban Environments


Urban air quality is a topic which remains high on the scientific and political agenda. Concentrations of most air pollutants are higher in urban areas than in the surrounding rural regions, and given the high population densities, it is within urban areas that the majority of the population receives their air pollutant exposure. Despite the continued implementation of abatement measures, concentrations of air pollutants within urban areas frequently exceed health-based ...

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Urban air quality is a topic which remains high on the scientific and political agenda. Concentrations of most air pollutants are higher in urban areas than in the surrounding rural regions, and given the high population densities, it is within urban areas that the majority of the population receives their air pollutant exposure. Despite the continued implementation of abatement measures, concentrations of air pollutants within urban areas frequently exceed health-based guidelines and stricter measures to restrict emissions are required.

This comprehensive volume, written by authoritative authors, deals with the basic science of urban air pollution in relation to the sources and concentrations, and the atmospheric chemical and physical processes which determine those concentrations and lead to the formation of secondary pollutants by chemical reactions in the atmosphere. The health effects of urban air pollution are described as is the policy response designed to mitigate the problems. Some of the highest air pollutant exposures occur within underground railway systems and this topic is considered explicitly in its own chapter.

With in-depth coverage from sources through atmospheric processes, to human exposure and effects on health and the policy response, this topical work will be of interest to scientists and policy makers within this field as well as advanced students.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

The Air We Breathe

Air Quality in Urban Environments

R. E. Hester and R. M. Harrison (Eds.)

RSC Publishing, Cambridge, UK, 2009, 162 pp. (HB) ISBN 9781847559074

Reviewed by Paul Seakins

Hester and Harrison have brought together topical reviews on a number of issues in urban air quality to provide a volume that will be of interest and relevance to a variety of researchers and practitioners in air quality, health and local government.

The volume begins with an introductory chapter introducing the issues around urban air quality and the relationships between air quality, emissions and meteorology. Three chapters then follow looking at urban meteorology, chemical processes and particulate matter. These chapters provide a good introduction to the topics, accessible to the relevant audience and with comprehensive and up to date referencing for further reading.

The final chapters of the book will be particularly useful to atmospheric chemists, as they provide an excellent link between the compositional and mechanistic studies that are such a strong feature of UK research, and health and policy impacts that provide the underpinning rationale for such research. Sotiris Vardoulakis discusses human exposure, highlighting the importance of the indoor as well as outdoor environments, Robert Maynard provides an excellent discussion of health effects (with a set of references that will be a boon to grant writers for many years to come!) and finally Martin Williams discusses the links between air quality and policy.

Chemistry World, 2010, 7(4), p. 58-59

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781847559616
  • Publisher: Royal Society of Chemistry, The
  • Publication date: 1/28/2014
  • Pages: 148

Meet the Author

The series has been edited by Professors Hester and Harrison since it began in 1994.

Professor Roy Harrison OBE is listed by ISI Thomson Scientific (on ISI Web of Knowledge) as a Highly Cited Researcher in the Environmental Science/Ecology category. He has an h-index of 54 (i.e. 54 of his papers have received 54 or more citations in the literature). In 2004 he was appointed OBE for services to environmental science in the New Year Honours List. He was profiled by the Journal of Environmental Monitoring (Vol 5, pp 39N-41N, 2003). Professor Harrison’s research interests lie in the field of environment and human health. His main specialism is in air pollution, from emissions through atmospheric chemical and physical transformations to exposure and effects on human health. Much of this work is designed to inform the development of policy.

Now an emeritus professor, Professor Ron Hester's current activities in chemistry are mainly as an editor and as an external examiner and assessor. He also retains appointments as external examiner and assessor / adviser on courses, individual promotions, and departmental / subject area evaluations both in the UK and abroad.

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Table of Contents

Urban Air Pollution Climates throughout the World Ole Hertel Michael Evan Goodsite 1

1 Introduction 1

1.1 Emission and Formation of Urban Air Pollution 2

1.2 Urban Pollution Levels and Indicators 3

2 Sources in the Vicinity of the City 4

3 Impact of the Geography, Topography and Meteorology 5

3.1 Geography 5

3.2 Topography 6

3.3 Meteorology 6

4 Pollutant Dispersion in Urban Streets Salmond McKendry 7

5 Nitrogen Dioxide Pollution in Urban Areas Bloss 8

6 Particle Pollution in Urban Areas 9

6.1 Particle Mass Concentrations 9

6.2 Particle Number Concentrations 11

6.3 Importance of Measurement Location 13

6.4 Contribution from Natural Processes 13

7 Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAH) in Urban Areas 13

7.1 Sources and Emissions 13

7.2 Sampling Artefacts 15

7.3 Long Range Transport 16

7.4 Future Requirements 16

8 Trace Elements, including Heavy Metals in Urban Areas 16

8.1 Heavy Metals 17

8.2 Trace Elements 17

8.3 Recommendations for Modelling 18

9 Conclusions 18

References 19

Influences of Meteorology on Air Pollution Concentrations and Processes in Urban Areas Jenny A. Salmond I.G. McKendry 23

1 Introduction 24

2 The Polluted Urban Atmosphere 26

3 The Urban Canopy Layer 29

3.1 Emissions, Intra-Urban Variability and Data Sources 29

3.2 Flow Patterns within the Urban Canopy Layer 30

3.3 Street Canyons 30

3.4 Vertical Exchange Processes: Coupling the UCL to the UBL 32

4 Larger Scale Processes Affecting Urban Air Pollution 33

4.1 Mesoscale Flows 34

4.2 Regional Transport 35

4.3 Synoptic Scales 36

4.4 Global Scales and "Chemical Weather" 37

5 Conclusions 37

Acknowledgements 38

References 38

AtmosphericChemical Processes of Importance in Cities William Bloss 42

1 Introduction 43

2 Emissions in the City Environment 43

3 Dynamic Considerations 45

4 Gas-phase Chemical Processing 46

4.1 NOx-Ozone Interactions 46

4.2 Oxidant Radicals and Ozone Production 48

4.3 Night-Time Processes 50

4.4 Timescales of Ozone Production 51

4.5 Analysis of Ozone Sources 52

4.6 Limits on Ozone Production: NOx-Limited and VOC-Limited 52

5 Modifications Particular to the Urban Environment 54

5.1 Radical Sources 54

5.2 VOC Speciation and Abundance 56

5.3 Primary Emissions of NO2 57

6 Particulate Phase Chemistry 58

6.1 Chemical Composition 59

6.2 Secondary Particle Formation 59

6.3 Other Impacts of Aerosol 61

7 Modelling Urban Atmospheric Chemistry 61

8 Conclusions 62

References 62

Air Pollution in Underground Railway Systems Imre Salma 65

1 Introduction 65

2 Physical and Chemical Properties 67

2.1 Particle Mass and Number Concentrations 67

2.2 Time Variation 69

2.3 Chemical Composition 71

2.4 Size Distributions 75

2.5 Morphology and Speciation 76

3 Emission Sources 78

4 Consequences for Human Health 80

5 Conclusions 82

Acknowledgements 83

References 83

Human Exposure: Indoor and Outdoor Sotiris Vardoulakis 85

1 Introduction 86

2 Characteristics of Outdoor and Indoor Exposure 87

2.1 Outdoor Exposure 87

2.2 Indoor Exposure 88

2.3 Time-Activity Patterns 89

2.4 Indoor-Outdoor Relationships 89

3 Exposure Assessment 90

3.1 Exposure Monitoring 90

3.1.1 Monitoring Networks 90

3.1.2 Personal Monitoring 92

3.1.3 Biomonitoring 93

3.2 Exposure Modelling 94

3.2.1 Proximity and Buffer Zone Models 95

3.2.2 Dispersion and Photochemical Air Quality Models 96

3.2.3 Geostatistical Interpolation and Land-Use Regression Models 98

3.2.4 Receptor-Oriented Models 99

3.2.5 Time-Activity (or Micro-Environmental) Modelling 99

3.3 Modelling Uncertainty 100

4 Evidence from Personal Exposure Surveys in Urban Areas 101

4.1 North American Studies 101

4.2 European Studies 102

5 Role of Exposure Assessment in Regulatory Control of Air Pollution 103

6 Conclusions 104

References 104

Health Effects of Urban Pollution Robert L. Maynard 108

1 Introduction 109

2 Exposure to Air Pollutants 109

3 Epidemiological Approaches 110

3.1 Time-Series Studies 110

3.2 Intervention Studies 113

3.3 Cohort Studies 113

4 Particulate Matter 114

5 Nitrogen Dioxide 116

6 Sulfur Dioxide 118

7 Ozone 120

8 Carbon Monoxide 122

9 Carcinogenic Air Pollutants found in Urban Areas 123

References 124

The Policy Response to Improving Urban Air Quality Martin Williams 129

1 Introduction 130

2 Policy and the Evidence Base after the Smog Episodes of 1952 and 1962 130

3 The Development of Strategies in the UK and Europe 134

4 Policy Instruments which Reduce Emissions 137

5 Future Developments in Air Quality Management Policies 139

5.1 Exposure Reduction 139

5.2 Links and Co-benefits with Climate Change Policies 142

Disclaimer 145

References 145

Subject Index 146

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