Air Quality Guidelines: Global Update 2005 by World Health Organization

By World Health Organization

This publication offers revised instruction values for the 4 commonest air toxins - particulate topic, ozone, nitrogen dioxide and sulfur dioxide - in line with a contemporary evaluate of the amassed medical proof. the explanation for number of every one instruction worth is supported by means of a synthesis of knowledge rising from learn at the well-being results of every pollutant. hence, those guidance now additionally practice globally. they are often learn together with Air caliber guidance for Europe, second variation, that's nonetheless the authority on guide values for all different air pollution.

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The longer timescales involve reactions in the remote atmosphere, for example over the oceans, where low concentrations of nitrogen oxides interact with methane and carbon monoxide (peroxy radical sources) to increase the hemispheric background of ozone, probably to about double that which prevailed in the pre-industrial era. The reactions are relatively slow but are important because of the large availability of the long-lived methane and carbon monoxide in the remote atmosphere. In more polluted atmospheres, as typified by Los Angeles but applying to many parts of the world, there is an abundance of more reactive hydrocarbons arising from anthropogenic emissions.

Rising concentrations have been recorded for North American and European cities, and levels exceeding WHO’s 2000 guideline values have been reported from cities in Mexico, Latin America, Africa, Australia and Europe. One of the trends predicted to lead to increasing air pollution levels is the high rate of urbanization in countries where most of the population is on low income. It is expected that the rapid growth in urban populations will lead to a dramatic increase in vehicle numbers combined with inexpensive solutions for daily commuting, more frequent use of older and twowheeled vehicles, poor car maintenance and other developments that increase air pollution.

Fig. 3. Typical annual average concentrations of nitrogen dioxide, sulfur dioxide and suspended particles in different parts of the world 200 180 160 Nitrogen dioxide Concentration (μg/m3) 140 Sulfur dioxide 120 Suspended particles 100 80 60 40 20 0 Developing countries Countries in transition Highly industrialized countries Source: United Nations Human Settlements Programme (5). PM levels indeed present serious problems in the developing countries. PM10 concentrations have been reported from countries such as India and Pakistan to be 4–5 times international air quality limit values.

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