Study reveals critical factors affecting urban pollution

was based on the doctoral dissertation of Hag-Yeol Kim, a former student of Guldmann's at Ohio State and now with the Seoul (Korea) Development Institute. The study was published in a recent issue of the journal Geographical Analysis.

The researchers used U.S. Environmental Protection Agency data for concentrations of ozone and carbon monoxide in U.S. cities from April to September 1990. Both are major pollutants in most U.S. cities and are among the six principal air pollutants monitored by the federal government. The researchers also examined data on weather conditions, land use, transportation and a variety of socioeconomic factors in the cities in 1990. The final sample included 303 cities in the ozone analysis and 117 cities for the carbon monoxide analysis.

Guldmann said that researchers knew ozone was a national problem because it decays slowly and can travel long distances. But this study confirmed that so-called background ozone - ozone that could not be attributed to local sources - was the most important factor in determining total ozone levels in cities.

"Our results confirm that ozone is transported over long distances with minimal decay," Guldmann said. "Local efforts are not going to control ozone in a city. There has to be a comprehensive national policy, which is consistent with what the EPA has been doing."

Another major factor influencing ozone levels was the amount of construction

Contact: Jean-Michel Guldmann
Ohio State University

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