Air quality and health impact assessment: Lisbon case study
Title: Air quality and health impact assessment: Lisbon case study
Author: Dionisi M.
Supervisors: Almeida S.M. and Fiori L.
Ambient air pollution represents one of the main environmental causes of disease and, alone, kills around 3 million people each year, mainly for non-communicable diseases. Considerable socio-economic impacts are dynamic and still not fully accounted, because it is responsible by cutting lives short, reducing productivity through working days and increasing medical costs. This issue is receiving much attention, since there has been an increase in urbanization due to higher activities in transportation and industrialization in both developed and developing countries.
The main objective of this thesis is to evaluate the air quality levels of Lisbon and quantify the related health impacts. Additionally, it aims to propose and test different measures/scenarios to improve air quality in Lisbon in order to reduce the population’s exposure to atmospheric particles.
The LIFE Index-Air tool, developed in the European project LIFE Index-Air, born in 2017, was the instrument adopted to assess the reference situation, based on the year 2015, and the different scenarios for improving air quality. This modular tool addresses the entire cycle from emissions, concentrations, exposure, dose and health effects following the DPSIR method, which stands for Driver-Pressure-State-Impact-Response.
The results were firstly analysed for the reference case, over the whole metropolitan area of Lisbon in year 2015 with a critic eye on the maps and tables in outputs. Then, the scenarios were specialized over the Lisbon Municipality, following the Air Quality Plans. The magnitude of variation was analysed in various circumstances to draw conclusions.
The analysis of the reference situation for the city of Lisbon shows that the main sources of particulate emissions are the non-industrial combustion and industrial combustion installations in the metropolitan area of Lisbon and the road transport in the municipality of Lisbon.
Results showed that the average concentration of PM10 and PM2.5 were higher in the municipality of Lisbon(26.84 and 14.00 µg m-3, respectively), but, in average they did not exceed the annual limit value stablished by the European Union. However, the PM10 levels exceeded the PM10 daily limit value over the airport area. The population exposure to air pollutants was greater within the group of workers, who also presented the greatest percentage in population. The individual dose was higher for the students, who spent a significant part of their time at school. The associated burden of disease in the city of Lisbon was the highest compared to any other part of Portugal.
The proposed scenarios focused on residential heating, represented by the reduction of the biomass consumed and advances in the technology, and on road transport, obtained through the replacement of diesel vehicles, the promotion of the electric vehicles, the application of smart-working and the reduction of the traffic load. The highest decreasing in ambient concentration resulted from the total conversion to electric road traffic, which reduced 27.5% of the PM2.5 emissions and decreased the PM2.5 concentrations on average 3.75 µg m-3 (maximum decrease: 9.73 µg m-3).
This work contributed to identify some advantages and limitations of the LIFE Index-Air management tool and to provide some guidance to improve the air quality in the city of Lisbon.
Type of publication: Master Thesis of the Integrated Master in Environmental Engineering at Instituto Superior Técnico, Universidade de Lisboa, Portugal.
How to cite: Dionisi (2020) Air quality and health impact assessment: Lisbon case study. Master Thesis of the Integrated Master in Environmental Engineering at Instituto Superior Técnico, Universidade de Lisboa, Portugal.
How to download thesis (in English): here