Journal of Hazardous Materials, Vol.365, 632-641, 2019
Impact of the implementation of Lisbon low emission zone on air quality
Air pollution is an increasing concern due to the negative impacts on human health, environment, and patrimony. The implementation of a Low Emission Zone (LEZ) is an important air quality policy action to reduce air pollutant emissions. This study aims to assess the air quality improvements in Lisbon with the LEZ implementation, analysing its impact on the air pollutant concentrations. The analysis performed from 2009 to 2016 showed an improvement in air quality. In the Zone 1, the reduction of PM10 and NO2 annual average concentrations were 29% and 12%, respectively, while, in the Zone 2, the reduction of PM10 and NO2 annual average concentrations were 23% and 22%, respectively. The background pollution analysis showed the LEZ effect on the lowest levels of ambient air pollution to which the population is chronically exposed. The achieved reductions of PM10 and NO2 levels were 30.5% and 9.4% in Zone 1, and 22.5% and 12.9% in the Zone 2, respectively. Concluding, this study evidenced an air quality improvement mainly for PM10 and NO2; however, insignificant reductions were observed for NOx and PM2.5. Therefore, stricter restriction standards should be defined, combining with other air quality policy decisions to reduce the population exposure to air pollutants.