Keywords: ambient data analysis, ozone, population exposure, PM size fractions, sustainable index, urban air quality, Chile, air quality, urban air pollution
Trends in air quality and population exposure in Santiago, Chile, 1989–2001
This study focused on establishing trends in the period 1988–2001 in PM2.5, PM10 and ozone concentrations in Santiago, Chile, and linking those to population exposure. There is strong seasonality in the concentration levels, driven by prevailing meteorological conditions, with the concentration of particulates peaking at the beginning of winter, whereas the ozone concentration is highest during the summer. The levels of PM2.5 and PM10 have substantially decreased since the late 1980s and so has the population exposure. Nevertheless, the majority of the population is still exposed to annual average levels that are above standard values. The situation with ozone exposure is different; no substantial decrease can be observed in the data. If anything, certain parts of Santiago, notably the south-east, have shown increased levels of ozone. Overall population exposure indicates that the average person was more at risk of ozone in the year 2000 than they were in 1993.