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  • 1 Reactor-ITN, Technological and Nuclear Institute, E.N. 10, 2686-953 Sacavém, Portugal
  • 2 DAO, Aveiro University, Campus Universitário de Santiago, 3810-193 Aveiro, Portugal
  • 3 CERENA-IST, Technical University of Lisbon, Av. Rovisco Pais 1, 1049-001 Lisboa, Portugal
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Abstract  

Recent health studies evidence that epidemiological studies must be combined with accurate analyses of the physico-chemical properties of the particles in order to determine the effects of atmospheric aerosols on human health. The project “Atmospheric Aerosol Impacts on Human Health” focuses on the chemical characterization of PM2.5 aerosols with the aim to analyze the health risks associated with exposure to aerosols and understand how their chemical composition contributes to the toxicity and human health problems traditionally associated with fine particles. During one year, PM2.5 was collected daily, with a Partisol sampler, in the centre of Lisbon. The aerosols were analyzed by Neutron Activation Analysis and Ion Chromatography in order to determine their chemical composition. In parallel the clinical situation of students from the schools situated around the sampler was followed. The incidence of asthma and rhinitis episodes was registered. Results showed that students were exposed to PM2.5 concentrations that exceed the World Health Organization recommended levels. A marked sea influence in the aerosol characteristics was identified by the use of air masses trajectories and by the concentrations of chloride, sodium and magnesium.