Air quality in the modern society is a concern. Social developments, such as increasing urbanization, increasing wealth and consumption, increasing chemical use in our daily lives, all contribute to human exposure to a range of pollutants. While the health risks of individual criteria air pollutants, such as particulate matter, nitrogen and sulfur oxides are well known, the combined effect of multiple compounds are not well understood.
The European Environment Agency (EEA) states in its State and Outlook Report 2015 that air and noise pollution continue to cause serious health impacts, particularly in urban areas. In 2011, about 430 000 premature deaths in the EU were attributed to fine particulate matter (PM2.5). And growing use of chemicals, particularly in consumer products, has been associated with an observed increase of endocrine diseases and disorders in humans.
Even thought Iceland is a sparsely populated country which does not rely on fossil fuel for house heating, particulate matter and nitrogen oxides measure high in the urban area of Reykjavík compared to many larger cities in the U.S.. In a new policy report published 2017, the Environment Agency of Iceland estimates that 80 premature deaths annually may be attributed to fine particulate matter pollution. It is therefore an important topic to research and find solutions to.
Air quality publications:
Andradóttir, H.Ó., and Hjartardóttir, B. (Eds) (2018). Sót í Reykjavík - Forrannsókn (e. black carbon in Reykjavík, preliminary study), Faculty of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Iceland, pp. 75.
Anderson, L. (2017). Particulate matter in Iceland, Andradóttir, H.Ó. (Ed.), Faculty of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Iceland, pp. 46. ISBN 978-9935-9344-6-8
Anderson, L. (2017). Nitrogen oxides in Iceland, Andradóttir, H.Ó. (Ed.), Faculty of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Iceland, pp. 26. ISBN 978-9935-9344-7-5
Andradóttir, H.Ó. (2014). Næmni fólks fyrir lágum styrkleika loftmengunar frá gosstöðvum í Holuhrauni (e. Human sensitivity to low concentration pollution from Holuhraun volcanic eruption). Research conference of the School of Engineering and Science, University of Iceland, Reykjavík, Iceland, October 25.
Ólafsdóttir, S., Garðarsson, S.M., and Andradóttir, H.Ó. (2014). Natural near field sinks of hydrogen sulfide from two geothermal power plants in Iceland. Atmospheric Environment, 96, 236-244.
Ólafsdóttir, S., Garðarsson, S.M., and Andradóttir, H.Ó. (2014). Spatial distribution of hydrogen sulfide from two geothermal power plants in complex terrain. Atmospheric Environment, 82, 60-70.
Andradóttir, H.Ó., Ólafsdóttir, S., and Garðarsson, S.M. (2010). Lárétt dreifing gosstróka Eyjafjallajökuls metin út frá gervihnattamyndum (e. Lateral distribution of volcanic plumes from Eyjafjallajökull glacier estimated from satellite images), Icelandic Engineering Society yearbook, 239-248.