A representative survey of urban air pollution in six Brazilian capital-cities
R.M. MIRANDA (1), M.F. Andrade (1), A. Fornaro (1), R. Astolfo (1), P.A. André (2) and P.H. Saldiva (2)
(1) University of Sao Paulo. IAG-Institute of Astronomy, Geophysics and Atmospheric Sciences (2) University of Sao Paulo. FM-Medical School
Abstract Number: 82
Preference: No preference
Last modified: October 23, 2009
Working Group: sq3
Brazilian capital-cities are highly affected by the air pollution. Particles are a common pollutant and can lead to health problems which justify the exhaustive studies concerning mass concentration and composition of aerosols. In fact, increased particulate material (PM) concentrations can affect the cardiovascular and respiratory systems. In Brazil, the Air Quality National Standard (AQNS) establishes 150 ug m-3 for 24 hours as limit of inhalable particulate material (PM10). However, for fine particles (PM2.5) there is not an AQNS. It is important to highlight that PM2.5 can penetrate more deeply in the human respiratory system, inducing some diseases like asthma and even cardiac problems. For most urban areas in Brazil, vehicles are considered the principal source of fine particles emitted to the atmosphere. In a joint collaboration of many institutions in Brazil coordinated by the University of Sao Paulo Medical School, the PM2.5 has been monitored in six Brazilian state capitals in areas with high circulation of vehicles from June 2007 to August 2008. This is the first study carried out in Brazil with simultaneous measurement in different states. These particles were analyzed for mass concentration and trace-substances composition. The sampling sites were distributed mainly in the most populated cities: P. Alegre (30.03°S; 51.22°W), capital of Rio Grande do Sul State, Curitiba (25.45°S; 49.23°W), capital of Paraná State, São Paulo (23.56°S;46.67°W), capital of Sao Paulo State, Rio de Janeiro (22.84°S; 43.24°W), capital of Rio de Janeiro State, Belo Horizonte (19.92°S;43.93°W), capital of Minas Gerais State, and Recife (8.05°S; 34.95°W), capital of Pernambuco State. These samples were analyzed by gravimetry for fine mass concentration, optical reflectance for Black Carbon concentration and X-ray Fluorescence for elementar characterization. Average concentrations for the whole period for PM2.5 and Black Carbon percentage were: São Paulo: 28.1±13.6 ug/m3 (38% BC), Rio de Janeiro: 17.2±11.2 ug/m3 (20% BC), Belo Horizonte: 14.7±7.7 ug/m3 (31% BC), Porto Alegre: 13.4±9.9 ug/m3 (29% BC), Curitiba: 14.4±9.5 ug/m3 (30% BC), Recife: 7.3±3.1 ug/m3 (27% BC). The black carbon (BC) percentage is presented in accordance with total fine mass. While São Paulo city presents the highest pollutants concentration, Recife, in the Northeast part of the country, has the lowest concentrations among the monitored capitals. Concerning BC contributions, Rio de Janeiro and Recife, both coastal cities, present the lowest values. Elementar characterization showed that soil particles (Al, Si, Ca, Fe) and sulfur are the principal elements in fine particulate matter, derived from soil resuspension and fuels, respectively. Potassium also appeared with high concentrations probably due to the use of alcohol derived from sugarcane as a fuel in Brazil.