Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Despite a significant reduction in smog-producing toxins, the Greater Toronto Area still violates Canada's standards for ozone air pollution

22.08.2014

Despite a significant reduction in smog-producing toxins in past decade, GTA still violates Canada's ozone standards

A new study shows that while the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) has significantly reduced some of the toxins that contribute to smog, the city continues to violate the Canada-wide standards for ozone air pollution.


Monitoring stations in the Greater Toronto Area used for the collection of NOx and O3 data (blue and pink markers), VOC data (aqua markers) and meteorological data (yellow and green markers).

Smog, which can cause or aggravate health problems such as asthma, emphysema and chronic bronchitis, is produced by a set of complex photochemical reactions involving volatile organic compounds (VOCs), nitrogen oxides and sunlight, which form ground-level ozone.

Smog-forming pollutants come from many sources including automobile exhaust, power plants, factories and many consumer products, such as paint, hairspray, charcoal starter fluid and chemical solvents. In a typical urban area, at least half of the smog precursors come from cars, buses, trucks and boats.

Research led by Jennifer Murphy of the Department of Chemistry at the University of Toronto has found that in the GTA between 2004 and 2012, nitrogen oxides and VOCs were reduced by at least 20 per cent between 2004 and 2012.

"These reductions are in line with the city's 2007 commitment to reducing smog precursors, and can be attributed to the implementation of pollution control measures like the Drive Clean program, and the closure of coal-fired power plants in the region," said Murphy.

Despite this good news, ozone concentrations are not following the same encouraging patterns. Canada-wide standards for ozone continued to be exceeded at all monitoring stations in the GTA. While the team noted lower ozone levels between 2008 and 2011 than in previous years, 2012 marked one of the highest recorded summer ozone concentrations as well as a large number of smog episodes.

Major smog occurrences often are linked to heavy motor vehicle traffic, high temperatures, sunshine and calm winds. Weather and geography affect the location and severity of smog. Because temperature and sunlight regulates the length of time it takes for smog to form, smog can occur more quickly and be more severe on a hot, sunny day.

"We are able to show that high ozone in 2012 was due to the relatively high number of sunny days that allowed ozone to be produced quickly, and low winds, that allowed the pollution to accumulate locally," said Murphy.

The team obtained the data from federal and provincial government monitoring sites throughout the GTA between 2000 and 2012. Their study, entitled "The impacts of precursor reduction and meteorology on ground-level ozone in the Greater Toronto Area," was published in Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics on August 15, 2014. Other members of the U of T research team are Stephanie C. Pugliese, Jeffrey A. Geddes and Jonathan M. Wang.

###

Full article: http://www.atmos-chem-phys.net/14/8197/2014/acp-14-8197-2014.pdf

Kim Luke | Eurek Alert!
Further information:
http://www.utoronto.ca

Further reports about: Despite compounds concentrations nitrogen ozone precursors sunlight toxins winds

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht New study: How stable is the West Antarctic Ice Sheet?
09.02.2016 | Alfred-Wegener-Institut, Helmholtz-Zentrum für Polar- und Meeresforschung

nachricht Online shopping might not be as green as we thought
08.02.2016 | University of Delaware

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Production of an AIDS vaccine in algae

Today, plants and microorganisms are heavily used for the production of medicinal products. The production of biopharmaceuticals in plants, also referred to as “Molecular Pharming”, represents a continuously growing field of plant biotechnology. Preferred host organisms include yeast and crop plants, such as maize and potato – plants with high demands. With the help of a special algal strain, the research team of Prof. Ralph Bock at the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Plant Physiology in Potsdam strives to develop a more efficient and resource-saving system for the production of medicines and vaccines. They tested its practicality by synthesizing a component of a potential AIDS vaccine.

The use of plants and microorganisms to produce pharmaceuticals is nothing new. In 1982, bacteria were genetically modified to produce human insulin, a drug...

Im Focus: The most accurate optical single-ion clock worldwide

Atomic clock experts from the Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB) are the first research group in the world to have built an optical single-ion clock which attains an accuracy which had only been predicted theoretically so far. Their optical ytterbium clock achieved a relative systematic measurement uncertainty of 3 E-18. The results have been published in the current issue of the scientific journal "Physical Review Letters".

Atomic clock experts from the Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB) are the first research group in the world to have built an optical single-ion clock...

Im Focus: Goodbye ground control: autonomous nanosatellites

The University of Würzburg has two new space projects in the pipeline which are concerned with the observation of planets and autonomous fault correction aboard satellites. The German Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy funds the projects with around 1.6 million euros.

Detecting tornadoes that sweep across Mars. Discovering meteors that fall to Earth. Investigating strange lightning that flashes from Earth's atmosphere into...

Im Focus: Flow phenomena on solid surfaces: Physicists highlight key role played by boundary layer velocity

Physicists from Saarland University and the ESPCI in Paris have shown how liquids on solid surfaces can be made to slide over the surface a bit like a bobsleigh on ice. The key is to apply a coating at the boundary between the liquid and the surface that induces the liquid to slip. This results in an increase in the average flow velocity of the liquid and its throughput. This was demonstrated by studying the behaviour of droplets on surfaces with different coatings as they evolved into the equilibrium state. The results could prove useful in optimizing industrial processes, such as the extrusion of plastics.

The study has been published in the respected academic journal PNAS (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America).

Im Focus: New study: How stable is the West Antarctic Ice Sheet?

Exceeding critical temperature limits in the Southern Ocean may cause the collapse of ice sheets and a sharp rise in sea levels

A future warming of the Southern Ocean caused by rising greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere may severely disrupt the stability of the West...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Travel grants available: Meet the world’s most proficient mathematicians and computer scientists

09.02.2016 | Event News

AKL’16: Experience Laser Technology Live in Europe´s Largest Laser Application Center!

02.02.2016 | Event News

From intelligent knee braces to anti-theft backpacks

26.01.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

New method opens crystal clear views of biomolecules

11.02.2016 | Life Sciences

Scientists take nanoparticle snapshots

11.02.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

NASA sees development of Tropical Storm 11P in Southwestern Pacific

11.02.2016 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>