Caring about the future

INSPIRAR - Air Quality Exposure and Human Health in Industrialized Urban Areas
Coordinator - Myriam Lopes
Programme - PTDC/AAC-AMB/103895/2008
Execution dates - 2010-04-01 - 2013-09-30 (42 Months)
Funding Entity - FCT
Funding for CESAM - 152628 €
Total Funding - 198000 €
Proponent Institution - Universidade de Aveiro
Participating Institutions
Faculdade de Ciências Médicas da Universidade Nova de Lisboa (FCM/UNL)

Project Description

The intense industrial development from the second half of the 20th century, coupled with population growth and population concentration in urban areas has accentuated the concern on the evaluation of the potential effects and impacts from air pollutant emissions on environment and human health. Despite concern about air quality in urban and industrial areas have made in recent years, particular emphasis on regulation, control and reduction of air pollutant emissions, is still necessary to fully characterize the chain of events emissions - air quality - exposure - dose - health effects, to specific sources.

Several scientific studies have evidenced the consequences of the presence of certain pollutants in high concentrations on air quality, exposure and human health. However, the contribution (considering spatial and temporal variation) of industrial activity has not been properly accounted for, in contrast to other sources (e.g. road traffic). Thus, industrialized urban areas present increased challenges, due to the type of pollutants involved (in particular those of industrial origin) and the lack of information on exposure to short and long term and their relationship to population health. Moreover, the risks associated with accidental releases of pollutants, resulting in acute exposure to high concentrations with potential impacts on human health must be also considered.

INSPIRAR aims to:

  1. evaluate whether the industrialized urban areas have worse air quality and exposure to other areas already examined and on which the contribution of the industry,

  2. verify if there are links between industrial pollution and human health in the short and long term. In the national context, the project results are of high importance and may be applicable in other regions and industrial fabrics.

INSPIRAR project aims to develop a multidisciplinary methodology for air quality, exposure and population health impacts assessment, from the emission of industrial pollutants in an industrialized urban area. The proposed study methodology includes two main approaches, namely, the application of computational modelling tools that allow quantifying the contribution of industrial activity on air quality and exposure, and an epidemiological approach for the individual and populational health characterization, especially for industrial workers. The methodology will be applied to the Estarreja region, an urban area that has one of the largest chemical complexes in Portugal,that´s currently under expansion.

The INSPIRAR project aims to create methods of analysis and provide information to support decision making, particularly in the of air quality management and prevention of risks related to exposure and health effects. It may also contribute to the awareness and public information, especially the most affected population by the proximity to industrial complexes.

Project webpage

CESAM members on this project
Carlos Borrego

Joana Ferreira
Joana Valente

Myriam Nunes Lopes
Principal Investigator


CESAM Funding: UIDP/50017/2020 + UIDB/50017/2020 + LA/P/0094/2020


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