Advertisement

Air quality indices: a review

  • Antonella Plaia
  • Mariantonietta Ruggieri
Reviews

Abstract

National directives on air quality oblige nations to monitor and report on their air quality, allowing the public to be informed on the ambient pollution levels. The last is the reason for the always increasing interest, demonstrated by the number of publications on this topic in recent years, in air quality/pollution indices: since the concentration of individual pollutants can be confusing, concentration measurements are conveniently transformed in terms of an air quality index. In this way, complex situations are summarized in a single figure, letting comparisons in time and space be possible. In this paper we will give an overview about the Air Quality/Pollution Indices proposed in literature and/or adopted by countries, trying also to categorize them into homogeneous groups. For the classification different approaches can be followed. Since in real life exposure to mixtures of chemicals occurs, with additive, synergistic or antagonistic effects, here we will distinguish between indices that consider the conjoint effect of pollutants and indices only based on the actual most dangerous pollutant. This brief review on air pollution indices shows, on one side, the wide interest in the problem, on the other, the lack of a common strategy which allows to compare the state of the air for cities that follow different directives. The main differences between the indices will be also described.

Keywords

Air quality indices Pollution indices 

Notes

Acknowledgments

The research was supported by a 2007 grant of University of Palermo for Cooperation and International Relationships (CORI) titled “Un indicatore aggregato della qualitá dell’aria”.

References

  1. Baldasano JM, Valera E, Jimenez P (2003) Air quality data from large cities. Sci Total Environ 307:141–165CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Bishoi B, Prakash A, Jain VK (2009) A comparative study of air quality index based on factor analysis and US-EPA methods fo an urban environment. Aerosol Air Qual Res 9(1):1–17Google Scholar
  3. Bodnar O, Cameletti M, Fassó A, Schmid W (2008) Comparing air quality ion Italy, Germany and Poland using BC indexes. Atmos Environ 42:8412–8421CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Brauer M, Ainslie B, Buzzelli M, Henderson S, Larson T, Marshall J, Nethery E, Steyn D, Su J (2008) Models of exposure for use in epidemiological studies of air pollution health impacts. In: Borrego C, Miranda AI (eds) Air pollution modelling and its application, vol XIX. Springer, New York, pp 589–604CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Bruno F, Cocchi D (2002) A unified strategy for building simple air quality indices. Environ Geol 13:243–261Google Scholar
  6. Bruno F, Cocchi D (2007) Recovering information from synthetic air quality indices. Environ Geol 18:345–359Google Scholar
  7. Cairncross EK, John J, Zunckel M (2007) A novel air pollution index based on the relative risk of daily mortality associated with short-term exposure to common air pollutants. Atmos Environ 41:8442–8454CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Chelani AB, Chalapati Rao CV, Phadke KM, Hasan MZ (2002) Formation of an air quality index in India. Int J Environ Stud 59(3):331–342CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Cheng W, Kuo Y, Lin P, Chang K, Chen Y, Lin T, Huang R (2004) Revised air quality index derived from an entropy function. Atmos Environ 38:383–391CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Cogliani E (2001) Air pollution forecast in cities by an air pollution index highly correlated with meteorological variables. Atmos Environ 35:2871–2877CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Dominici F, Daniels M, Zeger S, Samet J (2002) Air pollution and mortality: estimating regional and national dose-response relationships. J Am Statist Ass 97:100–111CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Gurjar BR, Butler TM, Lawrence MG, Lelieveld J (2008) Evaluation of emissions and air quality in megacities. Atmos Environ 42:1593–1606CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Hájek P, Olej V (2009) Air quality indices and their modelling by hierarchical fuzzy inference systems. WSEAS Trans Environ Develop 10(5):661–672Google Scholar
  14. Kassomenos P, Skouloudis AN, Lykoudis S, Flocas HA (1999) ”Air-quality indicators” for uniform indexing of atmospheric pollution over large metropolitan areas. Atmos Environ 33:1861–1879CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Khanna N (2000) Measuring environmental quality: an index of pollution. Ecol Econ 35:191–202CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Kyrkilis G, Chaloulakou A, Kassomenos PA (2007) Development of an aggregate AQI for an urban Mediterranean agglomeration: Relation to potential health effects. Environ Int 33(5):670–676CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Lagona F (2005) Air quality indices via non homogeneous hidden Markov models. In: Proceeding of the Italian statistical society conference on statistics and environment. CLEUP, Padova, pp 91–94. http://air-climate.eionet.europa.eu/docs/ETCACC_TechnPaper_2005_5_AQ_Indices.pdf. Accessed 5th may 2010
  18. Lee D, Ferguson C. Scott EM (2009) Air quality indicators in health studies. Book of Short Papers of CLADAG 2009. CLEUP, Padova, pp 217–220Google Scholar
  19. Leeuw de F, Mol W (2005) Air quality and air quality indices: a world apart? ETC/ACC Technical paper 2005/5. http://air-climate.eionet.europa.eu/docs/ETCACC_TechnPaper_2005_5_AQ_Indices.pdf. Accessed 5th may 2010
  20. Makra L, Mayer H, Beczi R, Borsos E (2003) Evaluation of the air quality of Szeged with some assessment methods. Acta Climt Chor Universitatis Szegediensis 36(37):85–93Google Scholar
  21. Mayer H, Kalberlah F, Ahrens D, Reuter U (2002) Analysis of indices for assessing the air. Gefahrst Reinhalt Luft 62:177–183 (in German)Google Scholar
  22. Mayer H, Makra L, Kalberlah F, Ahrens D, Reuter U (2004) Air stress and air quality indices. Meteorol Zeits 13(5):395–403CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Mayer H, Kalberlah F (2009) Two impact related air quality indices as tools to assess the daily and long-term air pollution. Int J Environ Pollut 36(1/2/3):19–29CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Murena F (2004) Measuring air quality over large urban areas: development and application of an air pollution index at the urban area of Naples. Atmos Environ 38:6195–6202CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Ott WR (1978) Environmental indices: theory and practice. Ann Arbor Science Publishers, Ann ArborGoogle Scholar
  26. Peng R, Dominici F (2008) Statistical Methods for environmental epidemiology with R. Springer, NYGoogle Scholar
  27. Samoli E, Analitis A, Touloumi G, Schwartz J, Anderson HR, Sunyer J, Bisanti L, Zmirou D, Vonk JM, Pekkanen J, Goodman P, Paldy A, Schindler C, Katsouyanni K (2005) Estimating the exposure-response relationships between particulate matter and mortality within the APHEA multicity project. Environ Health Persp 113(1):88–95CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Shooter D, Brimblecombe P (2009) Air quality indexing. Int J Environ Pollut 36(1/2/3):305–323CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Stieb D M, Burnett R T, Smith-Doiron M, Brion O, Shin H H, Economou V (2008) A new multipollutant, no-threshold air quality health index based on short-term associations observed in daily time-series analyses. J Air Waste Manage Assoc 58:435–450CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Swamee PK, Tyagi A (1999) Formation of an air pollution index. J Air Waste Manag Assoc 49:88–91Google Scholar
  31. van den Elshout S, Leger K, Nussio F (2008) Comparing urban air quality in Europe in real time. A review of existing air quality indices and the proposal of a common alternative. Environ Int 34(5):720–726CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. WHO (2000) Air quality guidelines for Europe, 2nd edn. Copenhagen, WHO Regional Office for Europe, WHO Regional Publications, European Series, No. 91Google Scholar
  33. WHO (2001) Quantification of the health effects of exposure to air pollution. EUR/01/5026342 (E74256)Google Scholar
  34. WHO (2006) Air quality guidelines for particulate matter, ozone, nitrogen dioxide and sulfur dioxide: global update 2005. Summary of risk assessment. Geneva, World Health Organization. http://whqlibdoc.who.int/hq/2006/WHO_SDE_PHE_OEH_06.02_eng.pdf, accessed 5th may 2010
  35. Zhou P, Ang BW, Poh KL (2006) Comparing aggregating methods for constructing the composite environmental index: an objective measure. Ecol Econ 59:305–311CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Zujic AM, Radak BB, Filipovic AJ, Markovic DA (2009) Extending the use of air quality indices to reflect effective population exposure. Environ Monit Assess 156:539–549CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Statistical and Mathematical SciencesUniversity of PalermoPalermoItaly

Personalised recommendations