Air Quality Coursework
For nitrogen dioxide, the limit has been set at 200 µg. m-3 and 40 µg. m-3 for 1 hour mean and annual mean respectively. Lastly, for PM10, the limit has been set at 50µg. m-3 and 40µg. For 2009 and 2016 sample data, there has not been a significant exceedance in 2009 because all the figures presented throughout the year are below the 200 limit set as the annual mean. However, the 1 hour mean of 40 was exceeded to a small extent in some months. When comparing 2009 and 2016, there has been a significant improvement in the levels of air pollutants both for ozone and nitrogen dioxide with reference point being the air quality limits. Marylebone Road (heavily trafficked) Marylebone road site consisted of data for all the air pollutants which are ozone, nitrogen dioxide and PM10 for both the years 2009 and 2016.
The ozone pollutant did not exceed the limits set both in the years 2009 and 2016. The fact that ozone pollutant is higher in the rural area than in the urban area is referred to as ozone paradox. This does not imply that the urban area has less air pollution. Other pollutants also exist in higher concentrations than in the rural areas. Furthermore, there is greater ozone degradation in the urban area than in the rural areas (Logan, 1989). This could also be the reason why ozone levels are high in the rural areas compared to the urban areas. However, it is evident that there are relatively significant levels of PM10 in the urban areas especially as the year progresses as seen in the monthly averages.
PM10 is mostly particulate matter in the atmosphere. The diurnal averages are relatively low in the mid hours. This could probably be because there is less traffic at that period plus other activities that may increase the level of particulate matter in the atmosphere. Determining the Air Quality at the Road Side The air quality at the road side, especially for nitrogen dioxide and particulate matter, are not adequate in terms of human health. This pollutant mostly affects eyesight and also the respiratory system. The deeper the pollutant gets into the respiratory system, the more harmful it becomes to the affected persons. There is great evidence of the impact of short-term exposure to PM10 on the respiratory health. However, regarding mortality, long-term exposure to PM has fewer effects compared to other particulate matters like PM2.
The particles of PM10 are quite tiny and can effectively act as a gas that will easily enter the respiratory system and results in various health impacts such as wheezing and coughing or even high blood pressure, strokes. Possible Solutions There is need to formulate and implement effective policies in the transport sector in line with acceptable air quality standards and establish robust monitoring framework of those policies to ensure that they are followed to the latter. For instance, the number of personal vehicles on the roads should be reduced and embrace public transport to reduce the number of emissions. If not then there is need to use cleaner fueled vehicles monitored by the relevant authority and in the process promote green policy.
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