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Revista Española de Salud Pública

On-line version ISSN 2173-9110Print version ISSN 1135-5727


ARANGUEZ, Emiliano et al. Air pollutants and the monitoring thereof . Rev. Esp. Salud Publica [online]. 1999, vol.73, n.2, pp.123-132. ISSN 2173-9110.

Some basic concepts regarding air pollution are set out. Although, from a health care standpoint, our interest revolves around the impact which pollution has on human health, it being important to ascertain the main pollutants, the sources of emissions, the physicochemical properties thereof, the sampling and analysis methods which are used at the air pollution control stations, the limits set by the laws currently in impact and the World Health Organization recommendations with regard to the levels of inmission. This study reviews these concepts with regard to the pollutants which have been analyzed in the Spanish Multicenter Study of Air Pollution and Mortality. (EMECAM): particles, sulfur dioxide (SO2), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), carbon monoxide (CO) and ozone (O3). For this purpose, the most recent publications on this subject have been used, including part of what is going to be the line around which all of the measures aimed at combating air pollution are going to be revolving in the very near future, that is, the new set of European Union Directives (some currently in the proposal stage) and the latest recommendations (not as yet published) of the World Health Organization. Lastly, a wide range of aspects are set out which involve Public Health in the field of air pollution, despite the monitoring and control thereof falling to the environmental affairs authorities in terms of government organization.

Keywords : Air pollution; Public health; Particles; Sulfur dioxide; Nitrogen dioxide; Carbon monoxide; Ozone.

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