Developing an air quality monitoring network: siting the monitors
Author(s): ,
David Lemon
Public Health Dorset
Sarah Sarah Sutton
Poole Council Environmental Health
Coralie McGown
Dorset Council Environmental Health
PHE ePoster Library. Lemon D. 03/21/18; 205876; 12462
Dr. David Lemon
Dr. David Lemon
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Abstract Aim: we attempt to develop a transparent, pragmatic and objective technique to identify locations for air quality monitors to assess the impact of long-term exposure to background air pollution. Introduction: Policymakers and researchers are showing a renewed interest in the effects of long term exposure to air pollution. To address this, we are developing a network of air pollution monitors. However, we need to be able to site them in areas where there is a mix of higher air pollution and a sizable population susceptible to its effects. Method: To identify suitable areas for the location of air monitors we adopt a weighted demand surface methodology. This demand surface is developed by comparing the pollution measurement at each point in the study area to its neighbours. A weighting strategy is then applied to the demand surface to identify areas with vulnerable populations. This weighting strategy combines sociodemographic characteristics deemed to be markers of populations susceptible to the effects of air pollution and applies it to the demand surface. Finally, to avoid clustering in urban areas, we add-in the extra criteria that each site must be at least 5km from its nearest neighbour. Results: Following this strategy we were able to rank all LSOAs and identify the 10 most likely to contain a mix of susceptible population and higher air pollution. These locations have a good geographic and population coverage, and pass a face validity test. Conclusions: We have developed an objective and transparent technique to identify locations of air pollution monitors incorporating public health concerns. Although the final decision on the exact location of the monitors was determined pragmatically, the technique developed here was of significant use in identifying the geographical areas of interest. Additionally, it provides cover to help minimise any possible future political interference.
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