The spatial relationship between traffic-related air pollution and noise in two Danish cities: Implications for health-related studies
Air pollution and noise originating from urban road traffic have been linked to the adverse health effects e.g. cardiovascular disease (CVD), although their generation and propagation mechanisms vary. We aimed to (i) develop a tool to model exposures to air pollution and noise using harmonized inputs based on similar geographical structure (ii) explore the relationship (using Spearman's rank correlation) of both pollutions at residential exposure level (iii) investigate the influence of traffic speed and Annual Average Daily Traffic (AADT) on air-noise relationship. The annual average (2005) air pollution (NOx, NO2, PM10, PM2.5) and noise levels (Lday, Leve, Lnight, Lden, LAeq,24h) are modelled at address locations in Copenhagen and Roskilde (N = 11,000 and 1500). The new AirGIS system together with the Operational Street Pollution Model (OSPM®) is used to produce air pollution estimates. Whereas, noise is estimated using Common Noise Assessment Methods in the EU (CNOSSOS-EU, hereafter CNOSSOS) with relatively coarser inputs (100 m CORINE land cover, simplified vehicle composition). In addition, noise estimates (Lday, Leve, Lnight) from CNOSSOS are also compared with noise estimates from Road Traffic Noise 1996 (RTN-96, one of the Nordic noise prediction standards). The overall air-noise correlation structure varied significantly in the range |rS| = 0.01–0.42, which was mainly affected by the background concentrations of air pollution as well as non-traffic emission sources. Moreover, neither AADT nor traffic speed showed substantial influence on the air-noise relationship. The noise levels estimated by CNOSSOS were substantially lower, and showed much lower variation than levels obtained by RTN-96. CNOSSOS, therefore, needs to be further evaluated using more detailed inputs (e.g. 10 m land cover polygons) to assess its feasibility for epidemiological noise exposure studies in Denmark. Lower to moderate air-noise correlations point towards significant potential to determine the independent health effects of air pollution and noise.