An analogy on assessment of urban air pollution in Turkey over the turn of the millennium (1992-2001)

Ozdilek H. G.

ENVIRONMENTAL MONITORING AND ASSESSMENT, vol.122, pp.203-219, 2006 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier


Rapid industrialization and urbanization in Turkey, especially over the last twenty five years, has provided better living standards to its residents, but it also caused a decrease in environmental quality. In late 1970's, air quality monitoring activities were started in some major cities by individual researchers in Turkey. It was just around the 1990's that a countrywide program on continuous air pollution monitoring in major province centers and selected large towns was launched. The impact of air pollution on people depend on various factors, such as existence and magnitude of coal powered energy generation plants, type of urban heating and their efficiency, and the numbers and specifications of vehicles. In this study, current Turkish urban air quality over the turn of the Millennium (1992-2001) is studied in the light of the country's worst cities in terms of outdoor air quality, the number of upper respiratory diseases, sinusitis, bronchitis, and pneumonia cases in these provinces reported by the state medical treatment facilities in 2001. The population that is under outdoor urban air pollution hazard was computed. A comparative analysis between the provinces that use natural gas and others that use fossil fuels was also completed in order to project monetary gains if the studied provinces will transform their indoor heating and industrial operations to be run by natural gas or other cleaner energy sources. If natural gas use in air polluted urban centers could be realized in the near future, approximately 212 to 350 million US dollars per annum could to be saved just by reducing health related problems caused by outdoor air pollution.