The Helsinki Metropolitan Area Council (YTV) is responsible for air quality monitoring in the Helsinki area. Air quality has been monitored periodically since the late 1950s. An automatic SO2 monitoring network was constructed in 1975 and TSP measurements were added in 1978. Since then the network has been expanded and currently five automatic multicomponent stations form the basis of the network monitoring SO2, NO, NO2, CO, PM10 and O3 concentrations. Manual TSP and PM10 measurements are also conducted. Mobile monitoring units are also being used as well as special measurement campaigns. The effects of air pollution on nature are studied in bioindicator monitoring. An air quality index is used in order to inform the public of the current air quality situation. Changes in air quality are reflected in monitoring strategy. SO2 concentrations have decreased in the past two decades. Annual averages in 1995 were at or below 5 μg/m3. Traffic is the major source for pollutants even though catalytic converters have lowered traffic emissions somewhat. The highest annual average NO2 concentration at an urban site was 49 μg/m3 in 1995, and there has been no clear change in NO2 levels. There has been a decreasing trend in CO concentrations. Maximum annual TSP and PM10 averages in 1995 were 92 and 32 μg/m3, respectively. The highest average lead concentration was 0.01 μg/m3. Elevated concentrations are experienced from time to time. During the spring daily TSP and PM10 concentrations can go up to around 300 and 150 μg/m3, respectively. This is caused by resuspension mainly due to street sanding. Also a major winter NO2 episode occurred in December 1995. The highest hourly NO2 concentrations reached 400 μg/m3.
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- Air Quality and Monitoring Strategy in the Helsinki Metropolitan Area, Finland
- Springer Netherlands