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Environmental Pollution 173 (2013) 255e256

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Environmental Pollution
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Air Quality Standards for Particulate Matter (PM) at high altitude cities
H. Bravo Alvarez a, *, R. Sosa Echeverria a, P. Sanchez Alvarez a, S. Krupa b
a b

Centro de Ciencias de la Atmsfera, Universidad Nacional Autnoma de Mxico, Circuito Exterior, Ciudad Universitaria, Mxico D.F. 04510, Mexico Department of Plant Pathology, University of Minnesota, St. Paul, MN 55108, USA

a r t i c l e i n f o
Article history: Received 9 May 2012 Received in revised form 26 September 2012 Accepted 28 September 2012 Keywords: Particulate matter Air Quality Standards Particulate matter in Mexico City Particulate matter in high altitude cities in Latin America

a b s t r a c t
The Air Quality Standards for Particulate Matter (PM) at high altitude urban areas in different countries, must consider the pressure and temperature due to the effect that these parameters have on the breath volume. This paper shows the importance to correct Air Quality Standards for PM considering pressure and temperature at different altitudes. Specic factors were suggested to convert the information concerning PM, from local to standard conditions, and adjust the Air Quality Standards for different high altitudes cities. The correction factors ranged from: 1.03 for Santiago de Chile to 1.47 for El Alto Bolivia. Other cities in this study include: Mexico City, Mxico; La Paz, Bolivia; Bogota, Cali and Medellin, Colombia; Quito, Ecuador and Cuzco, Peru. If these corrections are not considered, the atmospheric concentrations will be underestimated. 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

1. Introduction The ratio of asthma and allergy cases with respect to the population growth in high altitude urban areas in many countries has increased dramatically according to health authorities. This is an urgent issue to be solved in countries such as Mexico. In other Latin American Countries, air pollution is increasing as a result of their development. Thus, the concept of environmental protection needs to be introduced into their economic planning. Specically, high altitude cities require particular attention towards the air pollution and its effects on human health and welfare. This paper analysed the case of cities located at more than 500 m above sea level, and the potential problems caused by Total Suspended Particulates (TSP) and Particulate Matter less than 10 mm of diameter (PM10). These cases are being evaluated or compared according to Mexican Ambient Air Quality Standards (MAAQS) for TSP and PM10. Table 1 shows the atmospheric pressure (hPa), temperature ( C), altitude (metres above sea level) and population (106) for some high altitude Latin American Cities (Wikipedia, 2012). A factor is proposed to convert PM information from the Mexico City area (2240 m.a.s.l.) to standard conditions of temperature and pressure (as dened by the US EPA), in order to compare and use existing information of the Air Quality regarding TSP and PM10 in Mexico City.

2. Methodology In 1981 it was recommended to consider the altitude of a city as an important factor when evaluating the possible effects of particulate matter on the health of the population living in high altitude cities (Bravo and Urone, 1981). In that study several variables were considered, producing (with some uncertainty) a recommendation, to include the volume of air inhaled at sea level (4.4 m3/day/m2 body surface area) when comparing the volume inhaled at the high altitude (Mexico City 7.06 m3/day/m2 body surface area). The Mexican Ambient Air Quality Standard for Total PM/24 h is the total mass of particulate matter inhaled during a 24 h period per m2 body surface area. The total body surface area of an average person in Mexico is derived from the equation by Dubois (1.9 m2) determining that the total mass for Total Suspended Particulate (TSP) in 24 h (US-EPA, 2006), should be adjusted to 162 mg/m3/24 h instead of the Mexican Ambient Air Quality Standard for TSP at that time (260 mg/m3/24 h). The correction factor of 0.62 should be applied. The applied factor to transform the Mexican Ambient Air Quality Standard for PM10/24 h (taken as a reference for this study) is calculated from the general gas law (Equations (1)e(5)), where the results from local conditions (L) are compared with standard conditions (St). Standard conditions are pressure (1013 hPa), and temperature 25  C (298.15 K) (CFR, 1983; US EPA, 1999). PL VL =TL PSt VSt =TSt (1)

The particulate concentration in mg/m3 is converted to unit mass and volume M/V (mg/m3). Where: V M/C, then VL ML =CL ; VSt MSt =CSt (2)

* Corresponding author. E-mail address: (H. Bravo Alvarez). 0269-7491/$ e see front matter 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.



H. Bravo Alvarez et al. / Environmental Pollution 173 (2013) 255e256 Table 3 Air Quality Standards for Particulate Matter (24 h) suggested for local conditions at different Latin American Cities. City/Country 8 851 845 1 184 6 776 2 119 3 740 5 428 1 607 358 080 480 392 009 908 000 590 734 052 MAAQS Mexico City/Mexico La Paz/Bolivia El Alto/Bolivia Bogota/Colombia Cali/Colombia Medellin/Colombia Santiago/Chile Quito/Ecuador Cuzco/Peru TSP (mg/m3) 210 165 144 143 161 186 179 204 157 147 PM10 (mg/m3) 120 95 82 82 92 106 102 117 90 84 Difference (%) e 21 32 32 24 11 15 3 25 30

Table 1 Pressure, temperature, altitude, and population for different Latin American Cities. City/country Mexico City/Mexico La Paz/Bolivia El Alto/Bolivia Bogota/Colombia Cali/Colombia Medellin/Colombia Santiago/Chile Quito/Ecuador Cuzco/Peru Atmospheric pressure (hPa) 774 660 650 746 900 853 950 727 680 Average annual temperature (K) 289 284 281 287 299 295 287 286 285 Altitude (m.a.s.l.) 2240 3650 4050 2640 1005 1485 567 2800 3400 Population

EPA Standard Conditions: 1013 hPa and temperature 25  C (298.15 K).

Therefore, PL =TL CL PSt =TSt CSt From there, CL CSt PL =PSt TSt =TL (4) (3)

Using the approach of relating the atmospheric pressure to the altitude and air temperature as suggested in this paper, the factor to be applied to transform the MAAQS for TSP and PM10 to the different altitudes of the cities considered is obtained from the equation: CSt CL PSt =PL TL =TSt Where: Cst: concentration under standard conditions (1013 hPa and 298 K) CL: concentrations under local conditions PSt: atmospheric pressure under standard conditions (1013 hPa) PL: atmospheric pressure under local conditions (hPa) TSt: temperature under standard conditions (298 K) TL: temperature under local conditions (K) (5)

Correction factors must be applied to Air Quality Standard (STP, US-EPA), in order to obtain the Air Quality Standard to local conditions for Mexico City and other Latin American Cities (Table 3). The Mexican Ambient Air Quality Standards (MAAQS) (24 h) for TSP and PM10, since 1993 change to 210 and 120 mg/m3 respectively (NOM035, 1993; NOM-025, 1993). 4. Conclusions Particulate matter concentrations must be compared under the same conditions of atmospheric pressure and temperature. Thus, it is necessary to adjust all PM measurements to standard conditions in order to be able to compare them with the Air Quality Standard (US EPA, 2006), and properly evaluate the health effects reported by US EPA, and by current health effects studies. When considering local population health effects, using local conditions underestimates the expected health effects. In the cases (Latin American Cities) examined in this study, some 39 million (39 106) people could be affected by those underestimated effects. Acknowledgements The authors thank M. Eng. Adrian Marn H., M. Eng Iris Cureo G., Chem. Ana Luisa Alarcn J., M. Eng. Mnica Jaimes P. and M.Sci. Sally Bravo W., Angeles Lopez Portillo G., for their help in the development of this paper. References
Bravo, A.H., Urone, P., 1981. The altitude: a fundamental parameter in the use of air quality standards. Journal of the Air Pollution Control Association 31 (3), 264e 265. CFR, 1983. Appendix B to Part 50-Reference Method for the Determination of Suspended Particle Matter in the Atmosphere. Code Federal Regulations. NOM-025-SSA1, Norma Ocial Mexicana. Salud Ambiental, 1993. Criterios para evaluar la calidad del aire ambiente, con respecto a material particulado. Valor de concentracin mxima de material particulado, para partculas menores a 10 micrmetros y partculas menores a 2.5 micrmetros en el aire ambiente como medida de proteccin a la salud de la poblacin. 13 junio 2005. NOM-035-ECOL, Norma Ocial Mexicana, 1993. Mtodo de medicin para determinar la concentracin de partculas suspendidas totales en el aire ambiente y el procedimiento para la calibracin de los equipos de medicin. US EPA, 1999. Sampling of Ambient Air for Suspended Particle Matter (SPM) and PM10 Using High Volume (HV) Sampler. Method IO-2.1. US EPA, 2006. Federal Register. National Ambient Air Quality Standards for Particulate Matter; Final Rule. Environmental Protection Agency. 40 CFR Part 50. 2006. Wikipedia, 2012.

3. Results and discussion After applying the equations (4) and (5), which show the effect of the atmospheric pressure and temperature on the data reported in Table 1, gives as a result the data presented on Table 2. These data show, the correction factors applied to convert local conditions to standard conditions and viceversa, suggested to be applied in different Latin American Cities. These factors must be applied when particulate matter (TSP, PM10) concentrations (mg/m3) are considered.

Table 2 Correction factors from local to standard conditions and from standard to local conditions applied in different Latin American Cities. City/country Correction factor from local to standard conditions (Equation (5)) 1.27 1.46 1.47 1.31 1.13 1.18 1.03 1.34 1.42 Correction factor from standard to local conditions (Equation (4)) 0.79 0.68 0.68 0.76 0.89 0.85 0.97 0.75 0.70

Mexico City/Mexico La Paz/Bolivia El Alto/Bolivia Bogota/Colombia Cali/Colombia Medellin/Colombia Santiago/Chile Quito/Ecuador Cuzco/Peru