Title: Dispersion models and air quality data for population exposure assessment to air pollution

Authors: Cristina Mangia; Marco Cervino; Emilio Antonio Luca Gianicolo

Addresses: Institute of Atmospheric Sciences and Climate, ISAC-CNR, s.p. Lecce-Monteroni km 1.2, 73100 Lecce, Italy ' Institute of Atmospheric Sciences and Climate, ISAC-CNR, via Gobetti 101, 40129 Bologna, Italy ' Institute of Clinical Physiology, IFC-CNR, s.p. Lecce-Monteroni km 1.2, 73100 Lecce, Italy; Mainz Institute of Medical Biostatistics, Epidemiology and Informatics, der Johannes Gutenberg-Universität, Germany

Abstract: Evaluating the extent of exposure to chemicals in absence of continuous measurements of their concentration in air and direct measures of personal exposure is crucial for epidemiological studies. Dispersion models can be a useful tool for reproducing spatio-temporal distribution of contaminants emitted by a specific source. However, they cannot easily be applied to short-term epidemiological studies because they require precise information on daily emission scenarios for a long time, which are generally not available. The aim of this study was to better assess the exposure in the industrial area of Brindisi, which suffers from various critical epidemiological situations, by integrating air pollution concentration data, emissions and model simulations concerning a specific point source. The results suggest that in the absence of direct exposure data and detailed information on specific pollutants associated to an emission, population exposure may be better assessed by taking into account proxy pollutants and the wind (direction and speed) as a potential health effects modifier.

Keywords: urban pollution; industrial pollution; wind direction; air pollution exposure; sulphur dioxide; SO2; spatial distribution; pollutants; dispersion modelling; air quality; exposure assessment; Italy; public health.

DOI: 10.1504/IJEP.2014.065112

International Journal of Environment and Pollution, 2014 Vol.54 No.2/3/4, pp.119 - 127

Available online: 13 Oct 2014

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