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Regional pollution – the case of gasoline lead

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  1. Regional pollution – the case of gasoline lead Hans von Storch Institute for Coastal Research GKSS Research Center Geesthacht, Germany København, 2 December 2009

  2. Institut für Küstenforschung I f K • Motivation • Prototypical example of a reconstructing of flow and deposition of anthropogenic matter on the regional scale (50 - 1000 km). • Lead is chosen because the substance is during its aerial transport almost inert – that is, the problem is technically less challenging than with, say, mercury or POPs. • Lead is also chosen because of the highly variable emissions, with an unabated increase until about 1970 and several political regulations in the 1970s and 1980s, which ended with the out-phasing of lead in gasoline.

  3. Costa-Cabral, 2001 Sources of lead emissions, 1955-1995

  4. General overview of lead pollution Hagner, C., 2000: European Regulations for Reducing Lead Emissions from Automobiles - Did they have an Economic Impact on the German Gasoline and Automobile Markets? Regional Environmental Change1: 135-152 Hagner, C., 2000: Regional and long-term patterns of lead concentrations influvial, marine and terrestrial systems and humans in Europe. Water, Soil and Air Pollution, 134,1-40

  5. Atmospheric Lead Concentration in German Urban and Rural Areas 1970-1989 Source: Umweltbundesamt 2001

  6. Institut für Küstenforschung I f K Blood-lead levels (mg/l) from various studies in Germany, 1979–1997 Data source: Heinzow 1998

  7. Institut für Küstenforschung I f K Lead concentrations (mg/g) in spruce (Picea abies) sprouts and poplar (Populus nigra) leaves in urban areas in Saarland, 1985-1996 Data source: Umweltprobenbank 1999b

  8. Institut für Küstenforschung I f K Lead concentration (mg/kg) in Blue Mussels (Mytilus Edulis) in the North Sea, 1982-1997 * Sample stations: Bantsbalje ( 53°34’/ 7°01’); Borkum ( 53°35.4’/ 6°47.84’); Cuxhaven Leitdamm ( 53°53.05’/ 8°41.03’); Elmshörn Rinne ( 53°29.05’/ 6°54.00’); Mellumbalje ( 53°41.09’/ 8 °08.08’) Data source: Ministry of Ecology of Niedersachsen 1999

  9. Institut für Küstenforschung I f K Space/time details of Emissions Pacyna, J.M., and E.G. Pacyna, 2000: Atmospheric emissions of anthropogenic lead in Europe: Improvements, updates, historical data and projections. GKSS report 2000/31.

  10. Institut für Küstenforschung I f K 1955 1965 Emissions

  11. Institut für Küstenforschung I f K 1975 1985 Emissions

  12. Institut für Küstenforschung I f K 1990 1995 Emissions

  13. Institut für Küstenforschung I f K Simulation of Transport and Deposition of Emitted Lead, 1958-1995 Costa-Cabral, M. C., TUBES: An exact solution to advective transport of trace species in a two-dimensional discretized flow field using flow tubes, report

  14. Atmospheric concentration

  15. 1995 Calculated depositions deposition

  16. Mean annual Pb air concentration at Schauinsland, Germany.

  17. Institut für Küstenforschung I f K model estimate

  18. Chemical / ecological dimension

  19. Overland transport Schulte-Rentrop, A., M.Costa-Cabral, R. Vink, 2005: Modelling the overland transport of lead deposited from the atmosphere in the elbe catchment over four decades (1958-1995), Water , Air and Soil Pollution, 160, 271-291

  20. Estimated deposition of lead in the Elbe catchment

  21. Change from 1958-1995 Estimated lead concentration in the soil

  22. Institut für Küstenforschung I f K Lead concentration in the Elbe water

  23. Lead in the blood of people

  24. Questions • What were the levels of lead concentration in human blood in Germany in the 196s and 1970s (a time for which no measurements are available)? • How can we design scenarios of lead levels in human blood conditional upon alternative political regulations?

  25. Data sets G and M with lead concentration in human blood (in g/l). The G data are split into adults and children.

  26. Scatter diagrams of sample means (horizontal axis) and sample 95% (diamonds) and 90% (dots) quantiles (vertical axis) in lead concentrations in human blood in data set M. In g/l.

  27. Institut für Küstenforschung I f K In case of data set M, the 90% and 95% quantiles are given. Also in this case, a clear linear relationship between the mean and the quantiles is emerging with 90% quantile = 1.46  mean – 2.2 (3) 95% quantile = 1.75  mean – 4.6. (4) According to (3) and (4), a mean concentration of 150g/l is associated with 5% (10%) of the population having more than 258 g/l (217 g/l) lead in their blood.

  28. Institut für Küstenforschung I f K A simple dynamical relationship between three variables, namely the emission of lead LEt in an area AE in the year t, the atmospheric concentration LCt in an area AC in the year t and the mean concentration of lead in human blood LHBt in the year t in the area AC. LCt+1 =  LCt +  LEt+1 (5) LHBt+1 =  LHBt +  LCt+1 +  (6) Equation (6) is equivalent to (LHBt+1 - ) =  (LHBt - ) +  LCt+1 (7) with  = /(1-). Formulation (7) describes the dynamics of “anomalies” LHBt- relative to a “normal” state  towards which the system converges as soon as the forcing LCt ceases if <1. For 0 <  <1 the air concentration approaches  asymptotically with a time scale of 1/(1-) if LCt=0.

  29. Estimated mean, 90%ile and 95%ile lead concentrations in human blood in Münster, according to (6/7) and (3/4 (red solid lines, M). Additionally the mean level estimated with the Germany model is given as dotted blue curve (G). A level of more than 150 g/l are considered in Germany as potentially harmful for children and women in child-bearing age (HBM 3). For other adults the limit for serious concern is set to 250 g/l.

  30. Critical Values of Lead Concentration in Human Blood Defined by the `Human-Biomonitoring-Kommission´ in Germany * women in child-bearing age Category 1: unobstrusive value Category 2: no health risks are expected but monitoring is recommended Category 3: health hazards are possible, clarification and mitigation is needed Source: Krause et al. 1996

  31. Estimated mean, 90%ile and 95%ile lead concentrations in human blood in Münster, according to (6/7) and (3/4 (red solid lines, M). Additionally the mean level estimated with the Germany model is given as dotted blue curve (G). A level of more than 150 g/l are considered in Germany as potentially harmful for children and women in child-bearing age (HBM 3). For other adults the limit for serious concern is set to 250 g/l.

  32. Institut für Küstenforschung I f K Three scenarios of reduction of lead used as anti-knock in gasoline in Germany. The big black symbols describe the actual concentrations.

  33. Scenarios for mean lead concentrations (g/l) in human blood, as derived by the Münster model Scenario 1 describes an evolution without regulation (i.e., ongoing use of 0.6 g/l lead in gasoline in Germany, upper curves). In scenario 2 no unleaded gasoline has been introduced in Germany in 1985 (middle curves), and in scenario 3, regulation was instituted in Germany already in 1961 (lower curves).

  34. Institut für Küstenforschung I f K • Conclusions • Reconstruction of regional environmental change is doable with dynamical regional environmental models. • The environmental impact of past political and economic evolutions may be assessed quantitatively by a retrospective analysis. Scenarios of environmental impact of possible future socio-economic developments are possible to be constructed. • Lead reduction in gasoline was successful in reducing the presence of lead in the atmosphere, in terrestrial ecosystems and in men. • In aquatic ecosystems the increase of concentrations has been halted at a level well above the natural level. (How long is the residence time in sediment?)