In Latin America - one of the most urbanized regions in the developing world - at least 100 million people are exposed to air pollution above recommended WHO concentrations. The health impacts of exposure to air pollution result in an increase in hospital admissions and deaths associated with diseases of the cardiorespiratory system, reflecting a greater pressure on health systems, with significant direct economic losses (medical costs) or even attributed to the fall in productivity .Key risk groups particularly vulnerable to this problem are children, elderly people and persons with poor health or low socio-economic status.
Large urban centers air quality management requires a broad mobilization of resources, starting with the compilation of emission inventories, environmental monitoring/modeling programs and governance focused on risk communication and mitigation. Ensuring better air quality conditions contributes to the improvement of several public health indicators, such as an increase in life expectancy, added to the co-benefits promotion associated with reducing the impacts of climate change.
The SOPRAR/Salvador project was an example of air quality management action based on intersectoral articulation. The Salvador Air Quality Forecast System (SOPRAR/Salvador) is resulted from a project of innovation and intersectorial mobilization with local government, headed by Instituto Gonçalo Moniz - Fundação Oswaldo Cruz, under coordination of the researcher PhD Nelzair Vianna in agreement with the European company ARIA Technologies and cooperation of CETREL S.A. The project was funded by the German investment fund DEG - KfW Bankengruppe cwith a counterpart from ARIA Technologies and support from the Inter-American Development Bank.
Based on technologies widely applied in environmental and health management in large cities all over Europe and the United States, the objective of the SOPRAR/Salvador project was to introduce an innovative air quality modeling system applied to health surveillance, aimed to contribute on prevention and mitigation of air pollution impact on the health of the population of Salvador, Brazil. The work plan was divided into 6 stages developed over 28 months, coordinated with training sessions offered to managers and partners from different sectors, seeking technology transfer and local capacity building.
SOPRAR/Salvador can support the activation of communication protocols and protection services related to air quality to be elaborated in the future and integrated into the operation of the Civil Defense services (for example, the Centro de Monitoramento e Alerta de Defesa Civil – CEMADEC/CODESAL), amplifying its capability of environmental risk monitoring over the city.
SOPRAR/Salvador is an air quality mapping tool, considering the physical and dynamic aspects that govern the transport of atmospheric pollutants resulting in harmful concentrations. The system is operationalized in the computational infrastructure of the IGM-FIOCRUZ Bioinformatics Platform and can be accessed through an exclusive WEB service. It is based on a chain of atmospheric numerical models (WRF-CHIMERE) capable to represent the physical-chemical processes, the meteorology, and the dispersion of pollutants in the area of interest. The WRF meteorological model is processed by CEMADEC and transferred to the server hosting SOPRAR/Salvador via FTP protocol. The simulations of transport and atmospheric chemistry (CHIMERE) are processed daily, producing forecast maps of concentrations of six different pollutants, including fine inhalable particulate material (PM2.5) and ozone (O3), in addition to air quality indicators (based on the CETESB) methodology for the next 48h at 3km resolution.
Currently, SOPRAR/Salvador has restricted access to the institutions involved on its implementation. The data still requires expanded validation based on updated monitoring, in addition to high resolution emissions inventory update (detailed traffic data was available after the system implementation). Once the system would be consolidated, aligned with an air quality management policy for Salvador, integrating health risk monitoring and communication (operation of CEMADEC), a public dedicated version will be designed, combined with a strategic protocol of action focused on health promotion.
Live SOPRAR celebrated the conclusion of the project and presented the Air Quality Forecasting System of Salvador – SOPRAR/Salvador, whose objective is to assist local institutions in urban health management to assess and to mitigate the health impacts of air pollution.
The Live Streaming Event was moderated by the environmental engineer Larissa Zanutto and had a live transmission via YouTube, in three languages (Portuguese, Spanish and English). After the opening table, made up of representatives of partner institutions [Dr. Nelzair Araújo Vianna (FIOCRUZ), Dr. Paulo Buss (FIOCRUZ), Mr. João Resch (SECIS), Mr. Marc Chiappero (ARIA do Brasil) and Mr. Eduardo Fontoura (CETREL)], we proceed to the presentation of project results:
SOPRAR / Salvador System by Samya Pinheiro (ARIA do Brasil)
Impact of air pollution on the population of Salvador by Ludmilla Viana (UFF)
Air pollution and the challenges for a healthier and more economically prosperous city by Nelzair Vianna (FIOCRUZ)
Following the individual exhibitions, a debate was promoted, among the speakers, on the theme “How can SOPRAR / Salvador contribute to a healthier Salvador?”. Some contributions from the audience were captured to enrich the discussion.
Click on the links below and learn more about Salvador's Air Quality Forecasting System - SOPRAR / Salvador at LIVE SOPRAR!
If you have any more specific questions about the operation of the system and its applications, or any comments, please contact us.
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