Urban air pollution in relation to public health

A new study brings interesting results into play on this issue.

by Lorenzo Ciotti
Urban air pollution in relation to public health

Urban Air Pollution and Greenness in Relation to Public Health, a study published in the Journal of environmental and public health, brings interesting results into play on this issue. Researchers tell us: "Air pollution is the result of economic growth and urbanization.

Air pollution has been progressively recognized as a serious problem for cities, through widespread effects on health and well-being. There is less concern from stakeholders about greenness and air pollution mitigating factors in an urban area.

This research targeted to indicate the spatial dissemination of greenery, air quality levels (PM2.5, PM10, CO2, and AQI), and exposure to air quality-related health risks for the people in the urban area. The data were collected by measuring air quality at transportation stations and manufacturing industries with Air visual pro, then observing and mapping greenness in the city within the administrative boundary by GIS (street greenery, forest, availability of greenness in the manufacturing industry), and lastly questionnaire and interview were employed for air quality-related health issues.

Then, the air quality data were analyzed by using USAQI standards and health messages. Both quantitative and qualitative research approach had employed to explore air pollution levels, availability of greenness, and air quality-related health issues.

Moreover, Health questionnaires and greenness were correlated with air quality levels by a simple linear regression model. The result indicated that there was unhealthy air quality in the transportation and manufacturing industries.

The measured air quality showed in a range of 50.13-96.84 μg/m3 of PM2.5, 645-1764 ppm of CO2, and 137-179 Air quality index (AQI). The highest mean of PM2.5 and air quality concentrations at Addis Ababa transportation stations and manufacturing sites ranged between 63.46 and 104.45 μg/m3 and 179-326, respectively.

It was observed with less street greenery and greenness available in residential, commercial areas, and manufacturing industries. The pollution level was beyond the limit of WHO standards. The result has shown a health risk to the public in the city, particularly for drivers, street vendors, and manufacturing industry employees.

Among 480 respondents, 57.92% experienced health risks due to air pollution by medical evidence. High health risks due to industries and old motor vehicles in the city need to be reduced by introducing policies and strategies for low-carbon, minimizing traveling distance, encouraging high occupancy vehicles, and promoting a green legacy in the street network and green building."