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Urban air quality is a topic which remains high on the scientific and political agenda. Concentrations of most air pollutants are higher in urban areas than in the surrounding rural regions, and given the high population densities, it is within urban areas that the majority of the population receive their air pollutant exposure. Despite the continued implementation of abatement measures, concentrations of air pollutants within urban areas frequently exceed health-based guidelines and stricter measures to restrict emissions are required.
This comprehensive volume, written by authoritative authors, deals with the basic science of urban air pollution in relation to the sources and concentrations, and the atmospheric chemical and physical processes which determine those concentrations and lead to the formation of secondary pollutants by chemical reactions in the atmosphere. The health effects of urban air pollution are described as is the policy response designed to mitigate the problems. Some of the highest air pollutant exposures occur within underground railway systems and this topic is considered explicitly in its own chapter. With comprehensive coverage from sources through atmospheric processes, to human exposure and effects on health and the policy response, this topical work will be of interest to scientists and policy makers within this field as well advanced students.
The Air We Breathe
Air Quality in Urban Environments
R. E. Hester and R. M. Harrison (Eds.)
RSC Publishing, Cambridge, UK, 2009, 162 pp. (HB) ISBN 9781847559074
Reviewed by Paul Seakins
Hester and Harrison have brought together topical reviews on a number of issues in urban air quality to provide a volume that will be of interest and relevance to a variety of researchers and practitioners in air quality, health and local government.
The volume begins with an introductory chapter introducing the issues around urban air quality and the relationships between air quality, emissions and meteorology. Three chapters then follow looking at urban meteorology, chemical processes and particulate matter. These chapters provide a good introduction to the topics, accessible to the relevant audience and with comprehensive and up to date referencing for further reading.
The final chapters of the book will be particularly useful to atmospheric chemists, as they provide