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Saturation sampling for spatial variation in multiple air pollutants across an inversion-prone metropolitan area of complex terrain

Shmool, JLC and Michanowicz, DR and Cambal, L and Tunno, B and Howell, J and Gillooly, S and Roper, C and Tripathy, S and Chubb, LG and Eisl, HM and Gorczynski, JE and Holguin, FE and Shields, KN and Clougherty, JE (2014) Saturation sampling for spatial variation in multiple air pollutants across an inversion-prone metropolitan area of complex terrain. Environmental Health: A Global Access Science Source, 13 (1).

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Background: Characterizing intra-urban variation in air quality is important for epidemiological investigation of health outcomes and disparities. To date, however, few studies have been designed to capture spatial variation during select hours of the day, or to examine the roles of meteorology and complex terrain in shaping intra-urban exposure gradients. Methods: We designed a spatial saturation monitoring study to target local air pollution sources, and to understand the role of topography and temperature inversions on fine-scale pollution variation by systematically allocating sampling locations across gradients in emissions sources (vehicle traffic, industrial facilities) and topography (elevation) in the Pittsburgh area. Street-level integrated samples of fine particulate matter (PM2.5), black carbon (BC), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), sulfur dioxide (SO2), and ozone (O3) were collected during morning rush and probable inversion hours (6-11 AM), during summer and winter. We hypothesized that pollution concentrations would be: 1) higher under inversion conditions, 2) exacerbated in lower-elevation areas, and 3) vary by season. Results: During July-August 2011 and January-March 2012, we observed wide spatial and seasonal variability in pollution concentrations, exceeding the range measured at regulatory monitors. We identified elevated concentrations of multiple pollutants at lower-elevation sites, and a positive association between inversion frequency and NO2 concentration. We examined temporal adjustment methods for deriving seasonal concentration estimates, and found that the appropriate reference temporal trend differs between pollutants. Conclusions: Our time-stratified spatial saturation approach found some evidence for modification of inversion-concentration relationships by topography, and provided useful insights for refining and interpreting GIS-based pollution source indicators for Land Use Regression modeling.


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Item Type: Article
Status: Published
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Shmool, JLCjlcarr@pitt.eduJLCARR
Michanowicz, DR
Cambal, L
Tunno, Bbjt25@pitt.eduBJT25
Howell, J
Gillooly, Sseg14@pitt.eduSEG14
Roper, Cclr56@pitt.eduCLR56
Tripathy, Ssht52@pitt.eduSHT52
Chubb, LGlgc4@pitt.eduLGC4
Eisl, HM
Gorczynski, JE
Holguin, FEfeh9@pitt.eduFEH9
Shields, KN
Clougherty, JEjcloughe@pitt.eduJCLOUGHE
Date: 1 January 2014
Date Type: Publication
Journal or Publication Title: Environmental Health: A Global Access Science Source
Volume: 13
Number: 1
DOI or Unique Handle: 10.1186/1476-069x-13-28
Schools and Programs: School of Public Health > Environmental and Occupational Health
School of Medicine > Critical Care Medicine
School of Medicine > Medicine
Refereed: Yes
Date Deposited: 05 Dec 2016 21:14
Last Modified: 22 Jun 2021 10:55


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