Phenology of a vegetation barrier and resulting impacts on near-highway particle number and black carbon concentrations on a school campus

Christina H. Fuller, David R. Carter, Matthew J. Hayat, Richard Baldauf, Rebecca Watts Hull

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Traffic-related air pollution is a persistent concern especially in urban areas where populations live in close proximity to roadways. Innovative solutions are needed to minimize human exposure and the installation of vegetative barriers shows potential as a method to reduce near-road concentrations. This study investigates the impact of an existing stand of deciduous and evergreen trees on near-road total particle number (PNC) and black carbon (BC) concentrations across three seasons. Measurements were taken during spring, fall and winter on the campus of a middle school in the Atlanta (GA, USA) area at distances of 10 m and 50 m from a major interstate highway. We identified consistent decreases in BC concentrations, but not for PNC, with increased distance from the highway. In multivariable models, hour of day, downwind conditions, distance to highway, temperature and relative humidity significantly predicted pollutant concentrations. The magnitude of effect of these variables differed by season, however, we were not able to show a definitive impact of the vegetative barrier on near-road concentrations. More detailed studies are necessary to further examine the specific configurations and scenarios that may produce pollutant and exposure reductions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number160
JournalInternational journal of environmental research and public health
Volume14
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 8 2017

Keywords

  • Barrier
  • Black carbon
  • Highway
  • Near-road
  • Particulate matter
  • Season
  • Vegetation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

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