Análisis de la calidad del aire en dos localidades de Cantabria: Torrelavega y Los Corrales de Buelna
Analysis of air quality in two different locations of Cantabria: Torrelavega and Los Corrales de Buelna
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AuthorDíaz Aguayo, Clara
ABSTRACT Air pollution is an environmental and health problem which is becoming increasingly important as industrial and urban development increases worldwide. At local scale, air quality conditions are related to both industrial and traffic emission but also weather conditions, because temperature, rainfall and wind regimes also contribute to the dispersion of the pollutants. Because of its climate conditions, Cantabria seems not to be a “hot spot” of bad air quality conditions, but from time to time the population is confronted with news appeared in the media about high levels of pollution, mostly in the city of Torrelavega.
The purpose of this textbox is to explore air pollution in two locations of Cantabria, Torrelavega and Los Corrales de Buelna, based on official data, and compare it with the perception of their inhabitants, relating those aspects with the geographical and socioeconomic background of both locations.
To check the current air quality conditions, actual air pollution data, retrieved from the CIMA (Centro para la Investigación del Medio Ambiente) network, were analyzed. The most hazardous pollutants are particulates (PM10) in both locations, and sulfur oxides (SO2) and nitrogen oxides (NO2) in Torrelavega. Such spatial diversity is consequence of the type of industries and the different levels of traffic. Daily exceedences of those air pollutants, established by the environmental legislation because of their potential to cause health effects, were extracted and compared. Results show an improvement of the air quality during the last decade, although some problems still persist and deserve a deeper insight.
In order to know citizens vision about air quality, 100 interviews were performed to different sectors of the population, and compared with the actual air quality data. Results show that the habitants of both municipalities are aware of air pollution problems, but most of their knowledge is obtained indirectly, from non-official sources of information, except for those who have higher level of studies.
In conclusion, this document studies the main activities that participate in the destruction of air quality, establish the pollutants that exceed the environmental legislation to protect human health and compare the official results (which are given by the stations which measure the pollutants) with the perception of the pollsters.