A New Approach to Model Air Quality and Health Implications of Transport Scenarios



A New Approach to Model Air Quality and Health Implications of Transport Scenarios

Authors

NAMDEO A, MITCHELL G and DIXON R, Environment Centre, University of Leeds, MAY A D, ITS, University of Leeds and KAY D, Centre for Research in Environment and Health, University of Aberystwyth, UK

Description

The UK National Air Quality Strategy (NAQS) recognises transport as a major source of many significant atmospheric pollutants, particularly in towns and cities. Consequently, a key goal of the White paper "A New Deal for Transport: Better for Everyone" is

Abstract

The UK National Air Quality Strategy (NAQS) recognises transport as a major source of many significant atmospheric pollutants, particularly in towns and cities. Consequently, a key goal of the White paper "A New Deal for Transport: Better for Everyone" is to address, through transport planning, the objectives of the NAQS, including exceedences of prescribed air quality standards and the adverse effects on health of ambient air quality. This paper describes the development of a modelling package that can be used to support the NAQS. The package includes TEMMS (Traffic Emissions Modelling and Mapping Suite), which provides detailed estimates of vehicle emissions on urban road networks, together with a stationary source emissions database and an atmospheric dispersion model that collectively permit a detailed spatial assessment of urban air quality in response to road traffic and meteorology. The model package provides the basis upon which the health impacts of alternative traffic scenarios can be compared.

The health impacts are expressed as the 'disease burden' (DB), the proportion of a population contracting an illness through exposure to an environmental contaminant. The DB is calculated as the product of a pollutants frequency distribution and its associated dose-response relationship. This DB approach was developed with reference to the microbiological quality of recreational waters, and is the basis on which health related bathing water quality standards are being defined by the World Health Organisation. The first application of the DB method to air quality is described, using two applications. The first illustrates the DB method applied to air quality (as PMlo), monitored at a single site in each of five UK cities. The second applies the DB technique to Leeds, UK, using a spatially detailed representation of air quality derived using the model package described above, facilitating a comparison of the health impacts of alternative road traffic scenarios.

Publisher

Association for European Transport