Mortality weighting-based method for aggregate urban air risk assessment

In this study, the authors discuss a mortality-weighted synthetic evaluation (MWSE) method to evaluate urban air risk assessments. SO2, NOx, and particulate matter (PM10) were used as pollution indexes. The urban area of Hangzhou, China, divided into 756 grid cells with a 1 x 1 km resolution, was evaluated using the MWSE and air quality index (AQI), a widely-used method to evaluate ambient air quality and air risk. In an evaluation of 1 day in April 2004, surface areas categorised as levels I and III, as defined by an integrated air risk evaluation, were 27.3% and 3.3% lower, respectively, than grades I and III, defined by the AQI evaluation. Areas classified as level II or above level III by the integrated air risk evaluation were 55.1% and 101.1% higher, respectively, than grade II or above grade III when using the AQI evaluation. From this comparison, the MWSE method was more sensitive than the AQI method. The authors concluded that the AQI method used a single index to assess integrated air quality and are thus unable to evaluate integrated air risks due to multiple pollutants. The MWSE method overcame this problem, providing improved accuracy for air risk assessments.

Authors: Zhang, Qing-yu; Sun, Guo-jin; Tian, Wei-li; Wei, Yu-mei; Fang, Si-mai; Ruan, Jin-feng; Shan, Guo-rong; Shi, Yao ;Full Source: Journal of Zhejiang University, Science, A [online computer file] 2011, 12(9), 702-709 (Eng) ;