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Analysis of the 11-year Record (1987-1997) of Air Pollution measurements in Athens, Greece. Part I: Primary air pollutants

  • Authors
    Kalabokas P.
    Viras L.
    Repapis C.
Abstract

A climatological analysis of atmospheric concentrations of primary air pollutants in Athens, Greece, is
presented for the 11-year period 1987-1997, since the automated local air pollution network operating
by the Ministry of Environment started to record all conventional pollutants. The concentration levels
of the atmospheric pollutants carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, sulfur dioxide and black smoke for the
most polluted stations (Patission, Athinas and Piraeus) of the air pollution network were examined. For
all primary pollutants a seasonal variation with minimum in summer and maximum in winter is
observed. Sulfur dioxide has the strongest seasonal cycle and black smoke the weakest. There is a significant
downward trend for almost all pollutants in all stations. The highest reductions are observed in
Patission where a comparison between the 3-year periods 1988-1990 and 1995-1997 gives 52%, 34%,
26% and 20% decreases for sulfur dioxide, carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides and black smoke, respectively.
The pollution abatement measures taken by the state authorities during the period 1990-1994,
mainly consisting in the replacement of the old technology gasoline-powered private cars and the
reduction of the sulfur content in diesel oil, seem to be the primary cause of the improvement in air quality in Athens during the recent years.