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RI-URBANS launches the intercomparison of oxidative potential protocols

The objective is to harmonise the measurements of most health-relevant oxidative potential protocols and evaluate their potential to assess the toxicological effects of PM10 and PM2.5 A total of 18 groups from Europe, the USA, and Canada participate in the evaluation RI-URBANS has launched the intercomparison of protocols for most health-relevant oxidative potential assays among various research groups to harmonise its measurements. The objective is to evaluate if oxidative potential can be an additional metric to assess the potential toxicological effects of PM10 and PM2.5, in relation to particulate matter components and their source contributions. "It’s a first harmonization step needed to properly assess the relevance of oxidative potential to human health", explains french researcher Gaëlle Uzu, leader of the task (CNRS/IRD).  The CNRS/IRD research team has carried out the intercomparison protocol. From left to right: Rhabira El Azzouzi (engineer), Pamela Dominutti (post-doc RI-URBANS), Camille Rak (assistant engineer), Takoua Madhbi (engineer), Gaëlle Uzu (research director). Source: Gaëlle Uzu.   Mass is not an unequivocal metric for the health impact of particulate matter and additional parameters are needed to describe associated toxicity. One key parameter that drives particulate matter toxicity is its capacity to carry or induce reactive oxygen species (ROS) in the lung, disrupting its natural redox balance and causing inflammatory effects. The oxidative potential of aerosols can be defined as the capacity of particulate matter for generating reactive oxygen species in vivo. There are several available methodologies of oxidative potential (dithiothreitol, ascorbic acid, glutathione, among others), but they do not always correlate well with each other, as they are driven by different oxidizing species, as are our different lung anti-oxidant categories. In this protocol, the measurements will be intercompared for the most common oxidative potential assay. To accomplish this task, Gaëlle Uzu’s team, from the French National Research Institute for Sustainable Development (CNRS/IRD), has sent the samples and reactants to the participating groups today. From the data of receipt, the results can be sent back within one month to avoid ageing processes. The intercomparison of oxidative potential relies on: Simplified oxidative potential dithiothreitol protocol for everyone + all home protocols allowed A total of 4 samples will be tested in triplicate (reference compounds and atmospheric particulate matter) 18 research groups are participating: 13 groups are from the EU region (Czech Republic, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Netherlands, Serbia, Sweden, Switzerland, and the UK); 3 from the USA; and 2 from Canada Anonymous and authoritative data treatment will be done by the Joint Research Center (JRC) in the spring, and it is estimated that results will be released in September 2023. The technician Camille Rak performing homogenisation tests to check the stability of the samples before shipment. Source: Gaëlle Uzu

By |2023-01-17T09:17:41+00:00January 17, 2023|newspost, Uncategorized|0 Comments

Service Tools are set up to provide near-real time source apportionment of carbonaceous matter

RI-URBANS Service Tools provide near real-time information on submicron organic aerosols and black carbon source apportionment  The demonstration will be tested in the pilot cities of the project during 2023 RI-URBANS has published a report describing the establishment of near-real time source apportionment Service Tools for submicron organic aerosols and black carbon. The work has been carried out by researchers from INERIS, together with CNRS-LSCE, AERIS-Icare, and Datalystica, as part of Task 1.2 of the project: development and implementation of advanced source apportionment Service Tools. Carbonaceous particles, including organic aerosols and black carbon, represent a substantial part (typically, in the range of 40-80%) of fine particulate matter in urban environments. Dataflow to be used in RI-URBANS for Black Carbon and Organic Aerosol near-real time source apportionment. Source: INERIS & co-workers At ACTRIS national facilities, their in-situ high-time resolution monitoring is usually conducted using aerosol chemical speciation monitors (ACSM) and multi-wavelength aethalometer (AE33), for organic aerosols and black carbon respectively. In the last decades, research activities allowed to development of novel methodologies to identify and quantify the main sources of carbonaceous aerosols measured using these two types of instruments. “Our task within RI-URBANS was to implement these methodologies at a centralised server to demonstrate their ability to be operated in near-real time and gain knowledge on the sources”, explains Olivier Favez, researcher at INERIS and first author of the report. RI-URBANS researchers evaluated and applied the most suited source apportionment receptor models for operational applications, considering previous work in FAIRMODE, EMEP, and COLOSSAL. The document provides pilot functionalities, with operational requirements of the source apportionment software and data transfer/formatting Service Tools for the novel near real-time source apportionment of non-refractory aerosols and black carbon measurements data products, for modelling Service Tools (within the RI-URBANS Work Package 3), pilot applications (Work Package 4) and upscaling activities (Work Package 5). These Service Tools can be found in the corresponding Deliverable D4 (D1.4): CHECK OUT THE SERVICE TOOLS  

By |2023-01-10T08:51:04+00:00January 10, 2023|newspost, Uncategorized|0 Comments

Open call for abstracts to the RI-URBANS-led session in the European Geosciences Union General Assembly in April 2023

RI-URBANS leads the session 'Research Infrastructures Services Reinforcing Air Quality Monitoring Capacities in the European Urban & Industrial Areas' within the EGU General Assembly on 23-28 April 2023.  The call for abstracts for the session is now open until 10 January 2023.  Taking place on 23-28 April, the European General Union (EGU) General Assembly 2023 will bring together geoscientists from all over the world for a hybrid meeting covering all disciplines in the Earth, planetary, and space sciences. The RI-URBANS members Tuukka Petäjä, Xavier Querol, and Marjan Savadkoohi will act as conveners of the session: AS5.17 Research Infrastructures Services Reinforcing Air Quality Monitoring Capacities in European Urban & Industrial AreaS (RI-URBANS). This session provides an overview of RI-URBANS that develops Service Tools from atmospheric Research Infrastructures data that can address the challenges and societal needs concerning air quality in European cities and industrial hotspots. Here we will showcase synergies between Air Quality Monitoring Networks and Resarch Infrastructures in the atmospheric domain and combine advanced science knowledge and innovative technologies. A specific focus is placed upon ambient nanoparticles and atmospheric particulate matter, their sizes, constituents, source contributions and gaseous precursors. We will provide novel insights into novel air quality parameters, source contributions, and their associated health effects to demonstrate the European added value of implementing the new service tools. The results builds on existing initiatives for advanced research-driven air quality observations at supersites from European cities with five implemented pilots in 9 cities. The RI-URBANS complies with FAIR (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, Re-usable) data sharing principles. We explore upscaling and sustainability to the new air quality observations via interoperable services, using advanced instrumentation, modelling, source apportionment, integrated citizens observatories and mobile measurements. The call of abstract for this session is now open until 10 January 2023, 13:00 CET. Abstract submission   When submitting the abstract, look for AS - Atmospheric Sciences and the code of the session is AS5.17 EDI Research Infrastructures Services Reinforcing Air Quality Monitoring Capacities in European Urban & Industrial AreaS (RI-URBANS).                

By |2022-11-03T12:55:48+00:00November 3, 2022|newspost, Uncategorized|0 Comments

RI-URBANS celebrates its 1st Science Meeting in Barcelona updating on the progress of the project

A total of 150 participants from 63 institutions gathers to inform about the ongoing work The project has achieved several milestones in data collection, pilot studies, and cooperation with other European research infrastructures RI-URBANS participants met last week in the 1st Science Meeting of the project in Barcelona. A total of 84 onsite and 66 online participants from 63 institutions attended the meeting, together with representatives from the World Health Organization, European Commission, and other European research infrastructures. “RI-URBANS is progressing well. The project is now obtaining results of great interest, especially in the compilation of data on ultrafine particles, black carbon, and chemical combustion of aerosols”, declares Xavier Querol, coordinator of the project and CSIC researcher.   RI-URBANS coordinators Tuukka Petäja and Xavier Querol, explaining the RI-URBANS project report. Source: Alicia Arroyo (CSIC)   During its first year, RI-URBANS has reached several milestones that were highlighted during the meeting: Compilation of existing urban datasets on advanced air pollutants, such as ultrafine particles-PNSD, BC, online and offline PM speciation, NH3, and VOCs. Interpretation of these datasets to show that the application for air quality management started and it is very advanced for ultrafine particles and BC (close to submitting results for publication). Publication of the most updated European inventory of anthropogenic emissions that include ultrafine particles and non-exhaust vehicle particulate matter emissions (link). All city pilots are designed and most of them are already operating (link). Others will start in 2023, as planned. Several cities, such as Budapest, Marseille, Mülheim, Langen, Dresden, Leipzig, Lille, and London, which are not officially part of the project, are providing data to RI-URBANS Strategies to submit data of the advanced air quality datasets to ACTRIS-EBAS are devised and ready to be implemented. “We have also obtained very relevant results in terms of regional and urban scale modeling of advanced air quality parameters”, declares Tuukka Petäjä, RI-URBANS coordinator and researcher at the University of Helsinki. From left to right: Spyros Pandis (FORTH), Xavier Querol (CSIC) and Román Pérez Velasco (WHO); Tuukka Petäjä (UHEL) and Mar Viana (CSIC); Matine van Poppel (VITO), Stephan de Roode (Delft University of Technology) and Arnoud Apituley (KNMI). Source: Alicia Arroyo (CSIC) The project is directly connected with ACTRIS (Aerosol, Clouds and Trace Gases Research Infrastructure) and ICOS (Integrated Carbon Observation System) in terms of the use of service tools, networking supersites, and data management, and a fluent dialogue is stablished with them. Several challenges were also put forward during the meeting. One of them is achieving that air quality monitoring networks apply the service tools developed in RI-URBANS, most of them coming from ACTRIS. Another challenge is to make the data flow smoothly from all air quality stations toward ACTRIS. RI-URBANS already compiled advanced measurements from many stations, but there are some left behind. Efforts should be made to make these harmonised and data public in ACTRIS-EBAS. From left to right: Paolo Laj (ACTRIS) and Augustin Colette (INERIS). Source: Alicia Arroyo (CSIC) [...]

By |2022-11-15T14:43:39+00:00October 28, 2022|newspost, Uncategorized|0 Comments

RI-URBANS describes a methodology for mobile monitoring and citizen involvement

RI-URBANS publishes a methodology that summarizes complementary approaches to air quality monitoring systems in order to assess air quality for health and epidemiological studies It includes data collection methods for high-resolution exposure mapping, with and without citizen participation Air quality is measured routinely through fixed air quality monitoring stations. These stations include high-quality monitors that fulfill the data quality requirements as set in the European Air Quality Directive (2008/50/EC). Whereas a network of these fixed stations gives information on temporal trends of air quality, the network's density is insufficient to give information on air quality at the street level. Some pollutants, especially traffic-related ones (e.g. ultrafine particles, black carbon, nitrogen oxides), can show a very high spatial and temporal variability within a city or neighbourhood. Improved spatiotemporal resolution of air quality data is critical for an improved understanding of the connection between air quality parameters, human exposure, and consequent health effects. Difference between mobile and fixed air quality measurements in terms of monitoring setup and device requirements. Source: Martine van Popple (VITO) The methodology published by RI-URBANS summarizes complementary approaches to traditional air quality monitoring systems in order to assess air quality exposure for health and epidemiological studies, and to assess policy actions at the urban scale. It also includes involving citizens and mechanisms to enroll citizens that can be readily upscaled at European levels. The methodology can be found in the corresponding Deliverable D13 (D2.5): CHECK OUT THE METHODOLOGY  

By |2022-10-07T10:16:19+00:00October 7, 2022|newspost, Uncategorized|0 Comments

First dataset of anthropogenic emissions for all relevant pollutants

RI-URBANS publishes the first anthropogenic emission dataset, covering road transport exhaust and non-exhaust emissions and the distribution over Europe and pilot cities. The dataset includes main air pollutants, as well as ultrafine particles. The RI-URBANS project has just published the first dataset of anthropogenic emissions, which has been made available to the project users. The emission inventory comprises both the main air pollutants included in CAMS-REG (CH4, CO, NH3, NMVOC, NOX, SO2, PM10 and PM2.5) as well as ultrafine particles, expressed as particle number emissions. The dataset also provides emissions at a spatial resolution of 6x6km2 over Europe, including the pilot cities. The dataset also includes non-exhaust vehicle particulate matter (those from the brake and tire wear) in the European Emission Inventory. These results can be used by modelers to show the spatial and temporal variability of the pollutants, improve exposure data, and perform sensitivity analyses to evaluate the effect of specific policy actions. Emissions of PM2.5 distributed in space at 6x6 km2 resolution over Europe. The main emission sources are small combustion (mainly residential heating), transport, and industry. Source: Jeroen Kuenen, Antoon Visschedijk, Dick Heslinga (TNO) Developed by the Netherlands Organisation for applied scientific research (TNO), the spatially explicit emission inventory used by the air quality modellers at the European scale is enhanced by including improved estimates for road transportation. This makes the inventories for exhaust and for particulate matter from non-exhaust more accurate and consistent. The gridded emissions are now available on TNO's FTP site. To get access, the best option is to use a dedicated FTP client to transfer data after requesting access to TNO's contact point. Protocols and a contact person can be found in the corresponding Milestone M13 (M3.2): CHECK OUT THE DATASET  

By |2022-11-03T12:08:42+00:00September 27, 2022|newspost, Uncategorized|0 Comments

The RI-URBANS’ pilot on health effects starts in four European cities

RI-URBANS's pilot 4 has been launched in Athens, Barcelona, Paris, and Zurich to demonstrate the measurement of a series of novel health indicators.    The outcomes will complement existing air quality policy with measures directly targeting emission sources relevant to health.   The RI-URBANS' pilot 4, focused on the health effects of novel air quality metrics, has just started in Athens, Barcelona, Paris, and Zurich. The studies carried out in these large, populated European cities, aim to identify particulate matter components and nanoparticles that could be especially dangerous for human health. These data will be used to evaluate premature mortality and morbidity by cause, gender, and age, and compared with the health outcomes of conventionally measured pollutants.   The pilot includes two steps: Assessment of the health effects related to air quality metrics currently available from the public administrations. This analysis is carried out in all available cities (not only in the 4 pilot cities). Assessment of the health effects related to novel air quality metrics. In this case, the air quality variables include non-regulated pollutants and parameters, such as black carbon, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), the number concentrations of ultrafine particles, the oxidative potential at the cellular level, etc. If the novel air quality metrics of both short-term and long-term exposures represent a better parameter to assess the impact of air pollution on health, researchers will be able to relate these metrics with health data (mortality and morbidity in each city).  The information provided in this pilot will be relevant for air quality-health policies at the European level. CHECK OUT THE SAMPLING IN HEALTH INDICATOR PILOT CITIES

By |2022-07-05T11:26:13+00:00July 5, 2022|newspost, Uncategorized|0 Comments

RI-URBANS participates in the Knowledge and Citizens Working Group meeting, organised by the Green Deal Support Office

RI-URBANS attended the first Knowledge and Citizens Working Group meeting, organised by the EU Green Deal Support Office on June 15, 2022.   An action plan will be developed with other Green Deal projects in order to achieve maximised positive impacts in the long-term future.    On June 15, 2022, RI-URBANS' coordinator and project manager (Xavier Querol and Marta Monge) attended the first edition of the Knowledge and Citizens Working Group meeting. The meeting was organised by the Green Deal Support Office, whose mission is to facilitate the coordination between projects funded under the Horizon 2020 Green Deal Call and maximise their positive impact in the longer term. The first Working Group meeting aimed to bring together all the knowledge and citizens task force projects to get to know each other, identify and prioritise commonalities to propose and create synergies between the projects. In addition, the Working Group meeting also served to start developing the action plan and to advance the identification of key activities. A total of 16 projects attended the meeting: Increase the transformative potential of democratic innovations to address specific topics of the European Green Deal Reshaping citizens’ deliberation for the European Green Deal Advancing behavioural change through an inclusive Green Deal Social sciences and humanities for achieving a responsible, equitable and desirable Green Deal Achieving a new European energy awareness. A European competence framework for low carbon economy and sustainability through education Smart citizen education for a green future Individual change of habits needed for green European transition Co-creating a positive and sustainable lifestyle tool with and for European citizens Wearables and drones for city socio-environmental observations and behavioral change Systemic expansion of territorial circular ecosystems for end-of-life foam A frontrunner approach to systemic circular, holistic & inclusive solutions for a new paradigm of territorial circular economy Pilot applications in urban landscapes Research infrastructures services reinforcing air quality monitoring capacities in European urban & industrial areas Integrated digital framework for comprehensive maritime data and information services     Their common focus is to strengthen citizens' awareness of their own role as actors of change, promoting inclusive and participatory approaches to decision and policymaking at the local and national levels to address climate change challenges and propose transdisciplinary approaches to behavioural change.   During the event, there were joint sessions with several of these projects. The European Commission envisaged technical synergies of RI-URBANS with ICOS CITIES / PAUL, CIRCULAR FOAM, and FRONTSH1P projects in terms of providing citizens with information systems and tools to support decision-making in both pollution monitoring and circular economy solutions adoption.   RI-URBANS' coordinator, Xavier Querol, suggested synergies and support to: Engaging RI-URBANS with both Directorates-General for Environment (DG ENV) and for Health and Food Safety (DG SANTE) of the European Commission Using RI-URBANS' tools, developed within the Work Package 2, for citizen science Linking the pilot studies of different projects that are simultaneously carried [...]

By |2022-06-28T10:23:28+00:00June 28, 2022|newspost, Uncategorized|0 Comments

The first stakeholder meeting shows the advancements in RI-URBANS’ pilot activities

RI-URBANS' first stakeholder meeting was held online on May 30th with the objective of demonstrating the project's societal and environmental benefits and informing about the progression of the pilot actions.    The stakeholder discussion promoted cooperation and common efforts between RI-URBANS and other air quality monitoring actors.      The RI-URBANS' first stakeholder meeting was held online on May 30th with the aim of showing the advancements of the project pilot activities to the stakeholders and bringing together the expertise and feedback from all the actors. A total of 57 participants attended the meeting. Among the stakeholders, representatives of the European Environmental Agency (EEA), the World Health Organization (WHO), and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), together with delegates from several European Commission institutions (DG-ENV, JRC, or AQUILA) provided valuable feedback on RI-URBAN'S progress during its first year. After a brief introduction of RI-URBANS' challenges, objectives, and strategic pillars by Xavier Querol and Tuukka Petäjä, coordinators of the project, the pilot leaders took the lead in explaining the advancements in each of the pilot cases.   Pilot 1 - Near-real-time aerosol apportionment of carbonaceous aerosols   Hilkka Timonen, from the Finish Meteorological Institute (FMI), described the main objective: to pilot near-real-time source apportionment tools combining Aerosol Chemical Speciation Monitor (ACSM), organic aerosol, and aethalometer black carbon online measurements, and its related tasks. The pilot is expected to start on 1st January 2023 and the implementation will take place in 13 sites in 7 European countries. Pilot 1 has also started building synergies with the US. Having similar tools to make intercomparisons and obtain comprehensive observations will provide great benefit in the advancement of air quality monitoring in both the EU and US urban environments.   Pilot 2 - Near-real time provision of nanoparticle number size distribution data   David Beddows, from the University of Birmingham, explained Pilot 2. This pilot provides nanoparticles data and their size distribution from 3 main European cities (Barcelona, Birmingham, and Helsinki), together with 2 volunteer cities (Paris and Athens). The explanation was followed by a discussion between RI-URBANS' coordinators and some stakeholders about ensuring the compatibility of observational data between ACTRIS and Air Quality Monitoring Networks for aerosol size distribution measurements, and the standardization of these measurements.   Pilot 3 - Urban fine-scale mapping including innovative modelling, monitoring, and crowdsourcing.   Katherin Sartelent (French National Centre for Scientific Research, CNRS) and Gerard Hoek (University of Utrecht) showed the Pilot 3 progress with its objective of describing the urban variability of outdoor exposure to nanoparticles and other pollutants using modelling tools, mobile measurements, black carbon and particulate matter mid-cost sensors, and the citizens’ participation. Some of the campaigns involving different mobile measurement approaches have already started (i.e. Bucharest campaign). The Rotterdam and Birmingham campaigns are expected to start in Autumn 2022. Ultrafine particle concentration (raw data) measured on May, 4. 2022 in Bucharest. | Image source: Doina Nicolae (INOE)   Pilot 4 - Novel health indicators of nanoparticles and particulate matter components and source contributions. [...]

By |2022-06-20T09:23:54+00:00June 8, 2022|newspost, Uncategorized|0 Comments

RI-URBANS’ pilots start in Bucharest to obtain urban fine scale mapping and pollution hotsposts

The measurements will map the variability and distribution of pollutants across the city and will assess the contribution of pollution hotspots, such as power plants and heavy road traffic.    The campaign will be running until mid-June, extending the tasks in winter 2022-2023 based on other work packages' requirements.     The Bucharest campaigns, led by researchers from the National Institute for Research and Development for Optoelectronics (INOE), Bucharest, Romania, have just started to implement tasks from RI-URBANS' pilots 3 and 5. RI-URBANS' pilot 3 focuses on mapping the variability and distribution of nanoparticles and other pollutants in the city. Not only the assessment takes into consideration a few fixed sampling sites, but also the horizontal and vertical variability across the city. Within the Bucharest campaign, a mobile platform is taking measures of ultrafine particles, PM1, PM2.5, and PM10 concentrations on a predefined route, from 8:30h-16:00h (including rushing hours), one day per week, if weather permits. More intensive measurements (every day) are planned for 23 May to 13 June.   Ultrafine particle concentration (raw data) measured in May, 4. 2022. | Image source: Doina Nicolae (INOE)   RI-URBANS' pilot 5 addresses the nanoparticle contributions from urban hotspots: roadsides, airports, industry, and harbours. In the Bucharest campaigns, hotspot monitoring includes two fixed sites (MARS -Măgurele Center for Atmosphere and Radiation Studies- and INCAS, next to the Bucharest Heating Power Plant) and one mobile platform to perform intensive fine scale mapping. Pollution hotspots in Bucharest assessed during the RI-URBANS' pilot 5 campaign. | Image source: INOE   Read more about RI-URBAN'S pilot studies following this link.

By |2022-05-11T11:18:57+00:00May 11, 2022|newspost, Uncategorized|0 Comments
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