Air quality by highways worsen during winter conditions

winter highwayA team of researchers from the Southern Ontario Centre for Atmospheric Aerosol Research (SOCAAR), Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks, and Environment and Climate Change Canada, have published a new paper entitled, Characterization of winter air pollutant gradients near a major highway.

The group investigated air quality beside a major highway under Canadian winter conditions. The concentrations of two key traffic related pollutants, nitrogen oxides and ultrafine particles, were found to increase as temperature drops, likely due to higher emissions. The traffic-influenced area beside the highway widened under stagnant air conditions with little to no wind that can arise in winter, increasing the number of nearby residents exposed to traffic pollution.