Inderscience Publishers

Synergistic effects of pollutants on air quality

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The Pollutant Standards Index (PSI) was developed in the USA to give the public an overall assessment of the air quality on a regular basis. Currently, the PSI does not include the synergistic effects of the major air pollutants. Synergism applies when the damage caused by two or more pollutants, either to human health or property, is greater than the effect or damage caused by each individual pollutant acting alone. The purpose of this work is to develop a methodology that would take into account the synergistic effects of the priority air pollutants, and therefore give us a better understanding of the severity of the damage caused by these pollutants. The equation suggested is D(P1,P2,P3,P4,P5) = C1A C2B C3C C4D C5E. If it is assumed that the weight constants A to E are equal to one (all pollutants contribute equally to the damage), the equation becomes D (P1,P2,P3,P4,P5) = K·C1·C2·C3·C4·C5 where the constant K represents a conversion factor between the PSI scale and the new Synergistic Theory scale. The value of K is to be determined experimentally by finding the threshold value in the synergistic scale and dividing the threshold value of the PSI scale (100) by this number K = 100/SSC1threshold where SSthreshold is the Synergistic Scale threshold value.

Keywords: combined consequence, priority contaminants

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