Weekend/weekday differences in concentrations of ozone, nox, and non-methane hydrocarbon in the metropolitan area of São Paulo

Diferença de concentrações de ozônio, nox e hidrocarbonetos não metano durante período da semana e finais de semana, na região metropolitana de São Paulo

Ozone and inhalable particulate matter are the major air pollutants in the Metropolitan Area of São Paulo, Brazil, a region that has more than 19 million inhabitants and approximately 7 million registered vehicles. Proximity of roadways, adjacent land use, and local circulation are just some of the factors that can affect the results of monitoring of pollutant concentrations. The so-called weekend effect (higher ozone concentrations on weekends than on weekdays) might be related to the fact that concentrations of ozone precursors, such as nitrogen oxides (NOx) and Non Methane-Hydrocarbon (NMHC), are relatively lower on weekends. This phenomenon has been reported in some areas of the United States since the 1970s. The differences between the concentrations of ozone in period of weekend and weekday, were obtained from analysis of data hourly average of CETESB for 2004, studied the precursors to the formation of troposphere ozone, the meteorological variables and traffic profile for RMSP. Because of the proximity to sources of emissions from the station Pinheiros showed higher concentrations of NO and NO² and greater variations to the periods weekend and weekday. With fewer vehicles circulating during the weekend, and consequently less emission of pollutants, it has cleaner air and less concentration of NO and NO², there is the ideal setting to the formation of troposphere ozone, despite the lower concentration of NO². The proximity with the source emissions, aided by the increased availability of solar radiation and the presence of ozone precursors, were factors conditions for the occurrence of weekend effect.

Ozone formation; ozone weekend effect

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