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Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2006 Sep;3(3):235-43.

Air quality management using modern remote sensing and spatial technologies and associated societal costs.

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Center for Advanced Infrastructure Technology, Carrier Hall 203, The University of Mississippi, Jackson, MS 38677-1848, USA.


This paper presents a study of societal costs related to public health due to the degradation of air quality and the lack of physical activity, both affected by our built environment. The paper further shows road safety as another public health concern. Traffic fatalities are the number one cause of death in the world. Traffic accidents result in huge financial loss to the people involved and the related public health cost is a significant part of the total societal cost. Motor vehicle exhausts and industrial emissions, gasoline vapors, and chemical solvents as well as natural sources emit nitrogen oxides and volatile organic compounds, which are precursors to the formation of ground-level Ozone. High concentration values of ground-level Ozone in hot summer days produce smog and lead to respiratory problems and loss in worker's productivity. These factors and associated economic costs to society are important in establishing public policy and decision-making for sustainable transportation and development of communities in both industrialized and developing countries. This paper presents new science models for predicting ground-level Ozone and related air quality degradation. The models include predictor variables of daily climatological data, traffic volume and mix, speed, aviation data, and emission inventory of point sources. These models have been implemented in the user friendly AQMAN computer program and used for a case study in Northern Mississippi. Lifecycle benefits from reduced societal costs can be used to implement sustainable transportation policies, enhance investment decision-making, and protect public health and the environment.

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