Investigating a potential map of pm2.5 air pollution and risk for tourist attractions in Hsinchu County, Taiwan

Yuan Chien Lin, Hua San Shih, Chun Yeh Lai, Jen Kuo Tai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

In the past few years, human health risks caused by fine particulate matters (PM2.5) and other air pollutants have gradually received attention. According to the Disaster Prevention and Protection Act of Taiwan’s Government enforced in 2017, “suspended particulate matter” has officially been acknowledged as a disaster-causing hazard. The long-term exposure to high concentrations of air pollutants negatively affects the health of citizens. Therefore, the precise determination of the spatial long-term distribution of hazardous high-level air pollutants can help protect the health and safety of residents. The analysis of spatial information of disaster potentials is an important measure for assessing the risks of possible hazards. However, the spatial disaster-potential characteristics of air pollution have not been comprehensively studied. In addition, the development of air pollution potential maps of various regions would provide valuable information. In this study, Hsinchu County was chosen as an example. In the spatial data analysis, historical PM2.5 concentration data from the Taiwan Environmental Protection Administration (TWEPA) were used to analyze and estimate spatially the air pollution risk potential of PM2.5 in Hsinchu based on a geographic information system (GIS)-based radial basis function (RBF) spatial interpolation method. The probability that PM2.5 concentrations exceed a standard value was analyzed with the exceedance probability method; in addition, the air pollution risk levels of tourist attractions in Hsinchu County were determined. The results show that the air pollution risk levels of the different seasons are quite different. The most severe air pollution levels usually occur in spring and winter, whereas summer exhibits the best air quality. Xinfeng and Hukou Townships have the highest potential for air pollution episodes in Hsinchu County (approximately 18%). Hukou Old Street, which is one of the most important tourist attractions, has a relatively high air pollution risk. The analysis results of this study can be directly applied to other countries worldwide to provide references for tourists, tourism resource management, and air quality management; in addition, the results provide important information on the long-term health risks for local residents in the study area.

Original languageEnglish
Article number8691
Pages (from-to)1-24
Number of pages24
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Volume17
Issue number22
DOIs
StatePublished - 2 Nov 2020

Keywords

  • Air pollution potential map
  • GIS
  • PM2.5
  • Risk analysis
  • Spatial analysis
  • Tourist attractions

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