Keywords: air pollutants, air quality, atmospheric pollution, ground-, level ozone, urban air pollution, Brazil, air pollution monitoring
Evolution of air quality in the Sao Paulo metropolitan area and its relation with public policies
The Sao Paulo Metropolitan Area (SPMA) is one of the largest urban regions in the world, with more than 17 million inhabitants, about 2000 major industrial facilities, and more than 6 million vehicles based on diesel, gasoline, and ethanol. The area is thus a representative example of large urban region. The accumulated data collected by a network of air quality measuring stations, distributed throughout the SPMA, enables the monitoring of the air quality and is an adequate source of information for checking the effect of air quality control measures in the region. The present work shows that, although the levels of primary air pollutants have decreased over the last 20 years, events with high levels of NO2, CO, particulate material and ozone still take place. In the last five years, ozone has become the most problematic pollutant, in view of the high frequency of peak events. Increased control of emission sources and adequate planning of the urban area, especially concerning the traffic system, are both necessary in order to keep pollution in the area under established levels.