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Road traffic and sandy playground influence on ambient pollutants in schools

AuthorsMinguillón, María Cruz ; Rivas, Ioar; Moreno, Teresa ; Alastuey, Andrés ; Font, Oriol ; Córdoba, Patricia ; Álvarez-Pedrerol, M.; Sunyer, J.; Querol, Xavier
Issue Date2015
CitationAtmospheric Environment 111: 94- 102 (2015)
Abstract© 2015 The Authors. Urban air pollution has a greater impact on children's health compared to adults. In the framework of the BREATHE (BRain dEvelopment and Air polluTion ultrafine particles in scHool childrEn) project, the present work studies the impact of road traffic and the presence of sandy playgrounds on the outdoor air quality around schools. Four schools were selected for intensive campaigns of one month. PM2.5 samples were collected daily from 8:00 to 20:00 and chemically analysed. Real time measurements of NOx, black carbon (BC), PM1, PM2.5 and PM10 concentrations were carried out. Sand samples from five school playgrounds were characterized. The results confirm the representativeness of the general BREATHE project campaigns (eight weekdays measurements at each of the 39 schools). NOx, BC and PMx concentrations were higher in the school located nearest to traffic in the city centre with the daily pattern reflecting the traffic rush hours. The NOx concentrations were found to decrease with distance to the main road. The road traffic influence on ambient pollutants was higher on weekdays than weekends. The PM10 concentrations at one of the schools were mainly driven by the influence of the sandy playground, with peaks up to 25, 57 and 12 times higher than night background concentrations during mid-morning break, lunch break and end of school day, respectively. The airborne mineral matter concentrations registered at this school further confirm this origin. Nevertheless the influence of the re-suspension from the sandy playground was very local and decreased drastically within a short distance. The possible impact of the use of the private car for children's commuting on the outdoor air quality of the schools cannot be quantitatively assessed due to the overlapping with the rush hour of the city.
Publisher version (URL)http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.atmosenv.2015.04.011
Identifiersdoi: 10.1016/j.atmosenv.2015.04.011
issn: 1873-2844
Appears in Collections:(IDAEA) Artículos
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