Particulate Matter and Exposure Modelling in Europe
Recent estimates delivered by the European Environment Agency indicate that exposure to atmospheric particulate matter (PM) causes approximately three million deaths per year in the world. Exceedances of PM thresholds have been reported by the majority of the European Union member countries, mainly in urban agglomerations where human exposure is also higher.
Health effects of air pollution, namely of PM levels, are the result of a chain of events, going from the release of pollutants that lead to an atmospheric concentration, over the personal exposure, uptake, and resulting internal dose to the subsequent health effect.
The focus of this chapter will be on PM ambient concentrations as input for population exposure estimation, which are key variables for exposure models, and are generally measured at air quality monitoring stations or estimated by an adequate air quality modelling system. This chapter critically overviews PM modelling activities going on in Europe in the scope of exposure assessment, identifying advantages and gaps and recommending future uses and developments.
KeywordsExposure Health effects Modelling Particulate matter
The authors would like to acknowledge the financial support of the 3rd European Framework Program and the Portuguese Ministry of Science, Technology and Higher Education, through the Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT), for the Post-Doc grants of J. Ferreira (SFRH/BPD/40620/2007) and J. Valente (SFRH/BPD/78933/2011) and for the funding of research project INSPIRAR (PTDC/AAC-AMB/103895/2008), supported in the scope of the Competitiveness Factors Thematic Operational Programme (COMPETE) of the Community Support Framework III and by the European Community Fund FEDER.
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