An air quality monitoring network (AQMN) is a basic piece of environmental management due to that it satisfies the major role in monitoring of environment emissions, in special relevance to target air pollutants. An adequate installation would lead to support high efficiency of the network. Therefore, AQMN pre-layout should be considered as an essential factor in regarding with the location of fixed measurement stations within AQMN, as the minimum number of sampling points. Nevertheless, once AQMN has been already installed, and given that the spatial air pollutants pattern can vary along time, an assessment of the AQMN design would be addressed in order to identify the presence of potential redundant fixed monitoring stations. This approach would let to improve the AQMN performance, reduce maintenance costs of the network and consolidate the investment on those more efficient fixed stations. The chapter includes aspects relative to air pollutants measured by networks, their representativeness, limitations, importance, and the future needs. It ponders the need of re-assessment of the AQMN layout for assuring (i) a right evaluation of the human being exposure to atmospheric pollutants and controlling the environmental emissions into the atmosphere and (ii) an adequate performance of the network along time.
Part of the book: Environmental Emissions
Air quality and Public Health are concepts linked to each other. Within the frame of Public Health, a wide range of external factors, derived from rising wastes towards all environmental compartments, may generate harmful effects on human health. In particular, the release of polluting compounds into the ambient air coming from emission sources is a paramount concern, given that atmospheric pollution is considered the most significant environmental risk for human beings. In this context, while this chapter to provide an overview of the most critical air pollutants that can depict air quality status in terms of exposure, potential effects, emission sources, and types of pollutants, the principal purpose is focused on secondary atmospheric pollutants, emphasizing to tropospheric ozone as a significant pollutant within this group. In this sense, aspects such as the atmospheric ozone chemistry responsible for its formation and its spatial distribution into vast territories, including urban, suburban, and rural environments, were conveniently explained. Based on displayed evidence, primaries air pollutants, mainly nitrogen oxides, volatile organic compounds, and carbon monoxide, are responsible for the tropospheric ozone’s formation; therefore, reducing their levels could be translated into a decrease of ozone concentrations at the ground-level. Attending to the ozone distribution, the revealed findings lead to the next concentration gradient: higher ozone levels in rural, followed by suburban and urban sites, respectively. Finally, it can be concluded that the importance of tropospheric ozone within air quality lies in the possibility of producing harmful effects on human health and generating climate changes, either directly or indirectly.
Part of the book: Environmental Sustainability