Over the course of the twentieth century, growing recognition of the environmental and public health impacts associated with anthropogenic activities (discussed in the chapter Environmental Health Hazards) has prompted the development and application of methods and technologies to reduce the effects of pollution. In this context, governments have adopted regulatory and other policy measures (discussed in the chapter Environmental Policy) to minimize negative effects and ensure that environmental quality standards are achieved.
Typical measures in air quality management are control measures at the source, for example, enforcement of the use of catalytic converters in vehicles or of emission standards in incinerators, land-use planning and shut-down of factories or reduction of traffic during unfavourable weather conditions. The best air quality management stresses that the air pollutant emissions should be kept to a minimum; this is basically defined through emission standards for single sources of air pollution and could be achieved for industrial sources, for example, through closed systems and high-efficiency collectors. An emission standard is a limit on the amount or concentration of a pollutant emitted from a source. This type of legislation requires a decision, for each industry, on the best means of controlling its emissions (i.e., fixing emission standards).
· measurements in hot spots of air pollution to estimate maximum exposure of receptors (EU-NO2 guideline, measurements in street canyons, in accordance with the German Federal Immission Control Act)
Using standardized and proven equipment and procedures for ambient air pollutant concentration measurement cannot alone ensure acceptable quality if the user does not employ adequate methods of quality control. The standards series DIN/EN/ISO 9000 (Quality Management and Quality Assurance Standards), EN 45000 (which defines the requirements for testing laboratories) and ISO Guide 25 (General Requirements for the Competence of Calibration and Testing Laboratories) are important for user-oriented measures to ensure quality.
The Global Environmental Monitoring System GEMS/Air (WHO/ UNEP 1993) is organized and sponsored by WHO and UNEP and has developed a comprehensive programme for providing the instruments of rational air pollution management (see . The kernel of this programme is a global database of urban air pollutant concentrations of sulphur dioxides, suspended particulate matter, lead, nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide and ozone. As important as this database, however, is the provision of management tools such as guides for rapid emission inventories, programmes for dispersion modelling, population exposure estimates, control measures, and cost-benefit analysis. In this respect, GEMS/Air provides methodology review handbooks (WHO/UNEP 1994, 1995), conducts global assessments of air quality, facilitates review and validation of assessments, acts as a data/information broker, produces technical documents in support of all aspects of air quality management, facilitates the establishment of monitoring, conducts and widely distributes annual reviews, and establishes or identifies regional collaboration centres and/or experts to coordinate and support activities according to the needs of the regions. (WHO/UNEP 1992, 1993, 1995)
In my opinion, I completely disagree with the idea that it is the best solution since there is a better measure could be taken to mitigate these potential problems.Some people could argue that a higher price of petrol will discourage travellers from using their own vehicles, which will contribute to a reduction in traffic congestion and a concomitant reduction in pollution as a result of less means of transportation travelling.
The clean air implementation plan should always contain an enforcement plan which indicates how the control measures can be enforced. This implies also a resource commitment which, according to a polluter pays principle, will state what the polluter has to implement and how the government will help the polluter in fulfilling the commitment.
As is the case with measurements of gaseous air pollutants, continuous and discontinuous measurement procedures for SPM can be differentiated. As a rule, SPM is first separated on glass fibre or membrane filters. It follows a gravimetric or radiometric determination. Depending on the sampling, a distinction can be made between a procedure to measure the total SPM without fractionation according to the size of the particles and a fractionation procedure to measure the fine dust.
Control measures for industrial facilities include adequate, well-designed, well-installed, efficiently operated and maintained air cleaning devices, also called separators or collectors. A separator or collector can be defined as an apparatus for separating any one or more of the following from a gaseous medium in which they are suspended or mixed: solid particles (filter and dust separators), liquid particles (filter and droplet separator) and gases (gas purifier). The basic types of air pollution control equipment (discussed further in Air pollution control) are the following:
The measurement of air pollution containing organic components is complicated primarily by the range of materials in this class of compounds. Several hundred individual components with very different toxicological, chemical and physical characteristics are covered under the general title organic air pollutants in the emissions registers and air quality plans of congested areas.
Detector tubes are often used for sampling and quick preparatory analysis of gases. A certain test air volume is sucked through a glass tube that is filled with an adsorptive reagent that corresponds with the test objective. The contents of the tube change colour depending on the concentration of the material to be determined that is present in the test air. Small testing tubes are often used in the field of workplace monitoring or as a quick procedure in cases of accidents, such as fires. They are not used for routine ambient air pollutant concentration measurements due to the generally too high detection limits and too limited selectivity. Detector testing tubes are available for numerous materials in various concentration ranges.
Around the world, the most varied types of air quality networks are utilized. A distinction should be drawn between measurement networks, consisting of automatic, computer-controlled measuring stations (measurement containers), and virtual measurement networks, which only define the measurement locations for various types of air pollutant concentration measurements in the form of a preset grid. Tasks and conceptions of measurement networks were discussed above.
Continuously operating measurement networks are based on automatic measuring stations, and serve primarily for air quality monitoring of urban areas. Measured are air pollutants such as sulphur dioxide (SO2), dust, nitrogen monoxide (NO), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), carbon monoxide (CO), ozone (O3), and to an extent also the sum of the hydrocarbons (free methane, CnHm) or individual organic components (e.g., benzene, toluene, xylenes). In addition, depending on need, meteorological parameters such as wind direction, wind speed, air temperature, relative humidity, precipitation, global radiation or radiation balance are included.