Variation of NO2 and NOx concentrations between and within 36 European study areas: results from the ESCAPE study

Publié le 1 December 2012
Mis à jour le 9 septembre 2019

The ESCAPE study (European Study of Cohorts for Air Pollution Effects) investigates long-term effects of exposure to air pollution on human health in Europe. This paper documents the spatial variation of measured NO2 and NOx concentrations between and within 36 ESCAPE study areas across Europe. In all study areas NO2 and NOx were measured using standardized methods between October 2008 and April 2011. On average, 41 sites were selected per study area, including regional and urban background as well as street sites. The measurements were conducted in three different seasons, using Ogawa badges. Average concentrations for each site were calculated after adjustment for temporal variation using data obtained from a routine monitor background site. Substantial spatial variability was found in NO2 and NOx concentrations between and within study areas; 40% of the overall NO2 variance was attributable to the variability between study areas and 60% to variability within study areas. The corresponding values for NOx were 30% and 70%. The within-area spatial variability was mostly determined by differences between street and urban background concentrations. The street/urban background concentration ratio for NO2 varied between 1.09 and 3.16 across areas. The highest median concentrations were observed in Southern Europe, the lowest in Northern Europe. In conclusion, we found significant contrasts in annual average NO2 and NOx concentrations between and especially within 36 study areas across Europe. Epidemiological long-term studies should therefore consider different approaches for better characterization of the intra-urban contrasts, either by increasing of the number of monitors or by modelling.

Auteur : Cyrys J, Eeftens M, Heinrich J, Ampe C, Armengaud A, Beelen R, Bellander T, Beregszaszi T, Birk M, Cesaroni G, Cirach M, de Hoogh K, de Nazelle A, de Vocht F, Declercq C, Dedele A, Dimakopoulou K, Eriksen K, Galassi C, Grazuleviciene R, Grivas G, Gruzieva O, Hagenbjork Gustafsson A, Hoffmann B, Iakovides M, Ineichen A, Kramer U, Lanki T, Lozano P, Madsen C, Meliefste K, Modig L, Molter A, Mosler G, Nieuwenhuijsen M, Nonnemacher M, Oldenwening M, Peters A, Pontet S, Probst Hensch NM, Quass U, Raaschou Nielsen O, Ranzi A, Sugiri D, Stephanou EG, Taimisto P, Tsai MY, Vaskovi E, Villani S, Wang M, Brunekreef B, Hoek G
Atmospheric environment, 2012, vol. 62, p. 374-90