Studies of Air Pollutants and Their Impact on Respiratory and Cardiovascular Diseases in the El Paso Del Norte Region with Emphasis on Mobile Emissions

Juan Gustavo Arias Ugarte, University of Texas at El Paso


Air pollution may cause different diseases, such as cardiovascular and lung diseases. Traffic is a major source of mobile emissions causing air pollution. Exhaust emissions from mobile sources (Emissions of Carbon Monoxide, Nitrogen Oxides and Hydrocarbons) and Non-exhaust (Brake and Tire) are complex mixtures of gases and dust, including a large number of ultrafine particles, especially in areas with high traffic density. Recent studies have shown high rates of morbidity and mortality in people exposed to these types of emissions because the fine and ultrafine particles can be transported from the respiratory airways to the organs, thus contributing to increase risk of cancer and respiratory and cardiopulmonary diseases. The focus of this research is the study of mobile emissions in the Paso del Norte (PdN) region, with the objective of establishing an association between mobile emissions and health. This association will allow a comparison of different exposure and risk situations relative to the emission source (Exhaust and Non-Exhaust Emission) and to the particle size, PM 10 (coarse) and PM2.5 (inhalable), with the adverse effects on respiratory and cardiovascular diseases. The times selected for this study are periods in 2006 and 2010. Two areas associated with high traffic density were selected, highway I-10 in the Chamizal urban area, zip code 79905 and Dona Ana county rural areas, zip codes 88021,88027,88072. The mobile simulations were performed using the Motor Vehicle Emission (MOVES model version 2014a) simulating weekly, monthly and annual data of mobile emissions. Four contributing factors were identified by the simulation model: 1) The composition of the type of emissions: Brakes; Tire and Exhaust. 2) Vehicle Type. 3) Fuel Type: Petrol, Diesel. 4) Road Type: Urban, minor Roads and Interstate. A Pearson correlation coefficient (PCC) was established to estimate the correlation between quantitative variables: respiratory, cardiovascular diseases and mobile emissions by type of composition. Data from the weekly morbidity discharges for hospital admission were obtained from records for the PdN region. Estimates of the Health and Economic Effects of Air Pollution in the El PdN region were performed using the Environmental Benefits Mapping and Analysis Program, and GIS Software was used for visualization purposes. In addition, NOx is a major component of mobile emissions and is an ozone precursor. Therefore, we have studied its concentrations during high episodes and analyzed the meteorological factors that also contribute to high NOx and Ozone concentrations and performed corresponding simulations for the PdN region.

Subject Area

Environmental Health|Health sciences|Environmental engineering

Recommended Citation

Arias Ugarte, Juan Gustavo, "Studies of Air Pollutants and Their Impact on Respiratory and Cardiovascular Diseases in the El Paso Del Norte Region with Emphasis on Mobile Emissions" (2017). ETD Collection for University of Texas, El Paso. AAI10285353.