Study reveals critical factors affecting urban pollution

going on in a city. For every 1 percent increase in construction, there was a 0.69 percent increase in ozone levels. Guldmann said construction involves a lot of truck traffic and use of paints and chemicals that can help boost ozone levels.

But the study also revealed how policymakers can help reduce ozone levels by encouraging public transportation and use of electric-heated homes, and by protecting green space. For example, the study found a 1 percent increase in the use of public transportation decreased ozone levels by 0.51 percent. Similarly, a 1 percent increase in forested land in the city decreased ozone levels by 0.019 percent.

In examining data on carbon monoxide in cities, the researchers found that the placement of pollution-monitoring stations in relation to traffic intersections was critical. A 1 percent increase in the average distance to all intersections within a 5-kilometer distance of the monitoring station led to a carbon monoxide decrease of 0.56 percent. Intersections are important because carbon monoxide emissions are higher when a vehicle is idling. Adjusting traffic flows in congested areas to reduce the amount of time a car must idle can significantly reduce the amount of carbon monoxide released in the air.

"The results confirm that intersections are truly important emission sources of carbon monoxide," Guldmann said. "Constructing road interchanges instead of intersections, and implementing traffic

Contact: Jean-Michel Guldmann
Ohio State University

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