Use of CALPUFF to predict airborne Mn levels at schools in an urban area impacted by a nearby manganese alloy plant
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Children are susceptible to the health effects derived from elevated manganese (Mn) environmental exposure; residents living in urban areas where ferromanganese alloy plants are located are usually exposed to high Mn levels. In this work, a dispersion model developed by the USEPA, CALPUFF, has been used to estimate the airborne Mn levels near educational centers located in Santander bay, Northern Spain, an urban area where high Mn levels have been measured in the last decade. The CALPUFF model was validated in a previous work from a multi-site one-year observation dataset. Air manganese levels in 96 primary, secondary and high schools located in Santander bay were estimated using the CALPUFF model for two months corresponding to warm and cold periods using real meteorological data and Mn emission rates corresponding to different emission scenarios. Results show that when the emission scenario that best represented the observations dataset is used, the air Mn levels exceed the WHO guideline (i.e. 150?ng?Mn/m3) in 24% and 11% of the studied schools in the cold and warm periods respectively. These exceedances depend on the distance from the FeMn alloy plant and the direction of the prevailing winds. Additional emission scenarios based on the implementation of preventive and corrective measures are simulated and analysed in terms of the number of exceedances of the WHO guideline. The age range of children has been also considered in the analysis.