Keywords: urban air pollution, population exposure, atmospheric dispersion modelling, nitrogen dioxide, Buenos Aires, Argentina, air quality, pollutant concentrations, pollution monitoring
Application of atmospheric dispersion models to evaluate population exposure to NO2 concentration in Buenos Aires
Chronic or repeated exposure to low concentrations of NO2 may increase the incidence of respiratory infections especially in the most sensitive persons. Air pollution monitoring data obtained in Buenos Aires City reveal that sometimes NO2 Air Quality Guidelines (AQGs) recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) is exceeded. We estimate hourly background concentrations (Ch) of NOx (expressed as NO2) using atmospheric dispersion models and obtain a first evaluation of the possible human exposure to NO2 in the city. This study reveals that 30% of the population (900,000 inhabitants) can be exposed to Ch > AQG during 20–30% of the year and 4% of children and 5.1% of those older than 65 years old can be exposed to this condition for more than 36 consecutive hours.