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Modeling the concentrations of on-road air pollutants in southern California.


ABSTRACT: High concentrations of air pollutants on roadways, relative to ambient concentrations, contribute significantly to total personal exposure. Estimation of these exposures requires measurements or prediction of roadway concentrations. Our study develops, compares, and evaluates linear regression and nonlinear generalized additive models (GAMs) to estimate on-road concentrations of four key air pollutants, particle-bound polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PB-PAH), particle number count (PNC), nitrogen oxides (NOx), and particulate matter with diameter <2.5 ?m (PM2.5) using traffic, meteorology, and elevation variables. Critical predictors included wind speed and direction for all the pollutants, traffic-related variables for PB-PAH, PNC, and NOx, and air temperatures and relative humidity for PM2.5. GAMs explained 50%, 55%, 46%, and 71% of the variance for log or square-root transformed concentrations of PB-PAH, PNC, NOx, and PM2.5, respectively, an improvement of 5% to over 15% over the linear models. Accounting for temporal autocorrelation in the GAMs further improved the prediction, explaining 57-89% of the variance. We concluded that traffic and meteorological data are good predictors in estimating on-road traffic-related air pollutant concentrations and GAMs perform better for nonlinear variables, such as meteorological parameters.

SUBMITTER: Li L 

PROVIDER: S-EPMC4048198 | BioStudies | 2013-01-01

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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