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    A new strategy for risk assessment of PM2.5-bound elements by considering the influence of wind regimes

    dos Santos Silva, Jéssica Caroline, Potgieter-Vermaak, Sanja, Medeiros, Sandra Helena Westrupp, da Silva, Luiz Vitor, Ferreira, Danielli Ventura, Moreira, Camila Ariele Bufato, de Souza Zorzenão, Priscila Caroline, Pauliquevis, Theotonio, Godoi, Ana Flávia Locateli, de Souza, Rodrigo Augusto Ferreira, Yamamoto, Carlos Itsuo and Godoi, Ricardo Henrique Moreton (2023) A new strategy for risk assessment of PM2.5-bound elements by considering the influence of wind regimes. Science of the Total Environment, 872. p. 162131. ISSN 0048-9697

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    Abstract

    For regulatory purposes, air pollution has been reduced to management of air quality control regions (AQCR), by inventorying pollution sources and identifying the receptors significantly affected. However, beyond being source-dependent, particulate matter can be physically and chemically altered by factors and elements of climate during transport, as they act as local environmental constraints, indirectly modulating the adverse effects of particles on the environment and human health. This case study, at an industrial site in a Brazilian coastal city – Joinville, combines different methodologies to integrate atmospheric dynamics in a strategic risk assessment approach whereby the influence of different wind regimes on environmental and health risks of exposure to PM2.5-bound elements, are analysed. Although Joinville AQCR has been prone to stagnation/recirculation events, distinctly different horizontal wind circulation patterns indicate two airsheds within the region. The two sampling sites mirrored these two conditions and as a result we report different PM2.5 mass concentrations, chemical profiles, geo-accumulation, and ecological and human health risks. In addition, feedback mechanisms between the airsheds seem to aggravate the air quality and its effects even under good ventilation conditions. Recognizably, the risks associated with Co, Pb, Cu, Ni, Mn, and Zn loadings were extremely high for the environment as well as being the main contributors to elevated non-carcinogenic risks. Meanwhile, higher carcinogenic risks occurred during stagnation/recirculation conditions, with Cr as the major threat. These results highlight the importance of integrating local airshed characteristics into the risk assessment of PM2.5-bound elements since they can aggravate air pollution leading to different risks at a granular scale. This new approach to risk assessment can be employed in any city's longer-term development plan since it provides public authorities with a strategic perspective on incorporating environmental constraints into urban growth planning and development zoning regulations.

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