Long-term airborne particle pollution assessment in the city of Coyhaique, Patagonia, Chile

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Solís, Rafael
Toro A., Richard
Gómez, Luis
Vélez-Pereira, Andrés M.
López, Manuela
Fleming, Zöe
Fierro, Nicolás
Leiva G., Manuel
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An air pollution assessment in a small city located in the heart of Chilean Patagonia is presented. Seven years (2014–2020) of PM concentration levels retrieved from two monitoring stations permits an evaluation of the city’s pollution variability, the effect of meteorological variables and long-term trends of air pollution. The highest PM concentration levels observed during the coldest months are mainly related to an increasing emission associated with the intensive use of firewood for residential heating and cooking. The most polluted days are associated with low temperatures, low wind speed and high PM2.5/PM10 ratios, which is consistent with the predominance of local firewood sources over background emissions. A decrease in both PM fractions over time has been estimated (PM10: -4.1, CI99%: − 5.7 to − 2.9 and PM2.5: -2.2, CI99%: − 3.5 to − 1.3 μg m− 3 year− 1 ). However, the annual average PM mass concentrations in Coyhaique exceeded both national and international air quality thresholds. The city reported a percent of annual exceedances of the daily WHO guidelines of 57% for PM10 and 77% for PM2.5. These numbers highlight the serious air pollution problem of the city of Coyhaique, which exhibits air pollution levels comparable to those of many polluted megacities in the world.
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Particulate matter , Air pollution assessment , Domestic wood burning
Rafael Solís, Richard Toro A., Luis Gomez, Andrés M. Vélez-Pereira, Manuela López, Zoë Louise Fleming, Nicolás Fierro, Manuel Leiva G., Long-term airborne particle pollution assessment in the city of Coyhaique, Patagonia, Chile, Urban Climate, Volume 43, 2022, 101144, ISSN 2212-0955,