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Atmospheric particulate mercury in the megacity Beijing: Efficiency of mitigation measures and assessment of health effects

Abstract : Atmospheric particulate mercury (HgP) was studied before, during, and after the Olympic Summer Games in Beijing, China, in August 2008 in order to investigate the efficiency of the emission control measures implemented by the Chinese Government. These source control measures comprised traffic reductions, increase in public transportation, planting of vegetation, establishment of parks, building freeze at construction sites, cleaner production techniques for industries and industry closures in Beijing and also in the surrounding areas. Strictest measures including the ;odd-even ban; to halve the vehicle volume were enforced from the 20th of July to the 20th of September 2008. The Olympic period provided the unique opportunity to investigate the efficiency of these comprehensive actions implemented in order to reduce air pollution on a large scale. Therefore, the sampling period covered summer (August, September) and winter (December and January) samples over several years from December 2005 to September 2013. Average HgP concentrations in total suspended particulates (TSP) sampled in August 2008 were 81 ± 39 pg/m3 while TSP mass concentrations were 93 ± 49 μg/m3. This equals a reduction by about 63% for TSP mass and 65% for HgP, respectively, compared to the previous two years demonstrating the short-term success of the measures. However, after the Olympic Games, HgP concentrations increased again to pre-Olympic levels in August 2009 while values in August 2010 decreased again by 30%. Moreover, winter samples, which were 2- to 11-fold higher than corresponding August values, showed decreasing concentrations over the years indicating a long-term improvement of HgP pollution in Beijing. However, regarding adverse health effects, comparisons with soil guideline values and studies from other cities highlighted that HgP concentrations in TSP remained high in Beijing despite respective control measures. Consequently, future mitigation measures need to be tailored more specifically to further reduce HgP concentrations in Beijing.
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Submitted on : Thursday, March 24, 2022 - 6:28:28 PM
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N. J. Schleicher, J. Schäfer, G. Blanc, Y. Chen, F. Chai, et al.. Atmospheric particulate mercury in the megacity Beijing: Efficiency of mitigation measures and assessment of health effects. Atmospheric Environment, 2016, 124, pp.396-403. ⟨10.1016/j.atmosenv.2015.09.040⟩. ⟨insu-03619081⟩



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