Influence of a large commercial airport on the ultrafine particle number concentration in a distant residential area under different wind conditions and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Publication date: Feb 01, 2024

Exposure to ultrafine particles has a significant influence on human health. In regions with large commercial airports, air traffic and ground operations can represent a potential particle source. The particle number concentration was measured in a low-traffic residential area about 7 km from Frankfurt Airport with a Condensation Particle Counter in a long-term study. In addition, the particle number size distribution was determined using a Fast Mobility Particle Sizer. The particle number concentrations showed high variations over the entire measuring period and even within a single day. A maximum 24 h-mean of 24,120 cm was detected. Very high particle number concentrations were in particular measured when the wind came from the direction of the airport. In this case, the particle number size distribution showed a maximum in the particle size range between 5 and 15 nm. Particles produced by combustion in jet engines typically have this size range and a high potential to be deposited in the alveoli. During a period with high air traffic volume, significantly higher particle number concentrations could be measured than during a period with low air traffic volume, as in the COVID-19 pandemic. A large commercial airport thus has the potential to lead to a high particle number concentration even in a distant residential area. Due to the high particle number concentrations, the critical particle size, and strong concentration fluctuations, long-term measurements are essential for a realistic exposure analysis.

Concepts Keywords
7km Airport-related emissions
Frankfurt Ambient air
Jet Corona pandemic
Pandemic Long-term-measurements


Type Source Name
disease MESH COVID-19 pandemic
drug DRUGBANK Medical air
disease VO volume

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