Open Universiteit

Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1820/1818
Title: Integrated modelling of economic activities, use of energy and the impact of urban air pollution on health
Authors: Blaas, Harry
Keywords: luchtvervuiling
energiegebruik
gezondheid
Issue Date: Sep-2008
Publisher: Open Universiteit Nederland
Abstract: Worldwide in 2005 49 per cent of the world population lives in cities and this percentage will increase in the future. In cities, severe air pollution has been measured. A main constituent of polluted urban air is particulate matter (PM). PM consists of particles of different sizes and represents a mixture of organic and inorganic substances. By inhaling polluted air, health impacts may occur. The research described in this article addresses two main questions: 1. Does a relationship exist between economic activities, use of energy, air pollution and health? 2. If there is such a relationship is it quantifiable? The thesis follows a conceptual simulation model consisting of a causal chain of building blocks starting with the economic activities and ending with the health impacts. The blocks in between are demand of energy, sources of air pollution, emissions, concentrations and exposure. Inputs for the model were obtained by a literature review. The study revealed that there is a causal relationship along the chain. An important factor to determine air pollution is the use of energy. Combusting of fossil and renewable fuels and waste results in emission of PM. The PM concentration appeared to be reciprocal with wind speed. Following the research, the answer on question 1 is that for the world as a whole there is a relationship between economic activities and the use of energy but for a country or city this relation is more difficult to find. Therefore the answer on question 2 is that it is not possible to quantify health impacts only based on the economic activities of a country or city. The research showed that to determine the health impacts caused by air pollution the demand of energy turns out to be a crucial factor. It can be concluded that a simulation model, starting with the demand of energy is a useful tool for quantifying health impact of air pollution. The model can be implemented by translation into a computer simulation model. Case studies have been carried out for some cities. The influence of the wind in the model counts for a city with a diameter of 5 km. For cities with a bigger diameter it is recommended to investigate the influence of wind speed in more detail.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1820/1818
Appears in Collections:MSc Environmental Sciences

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