American Journal of Environmental Sciences

Particulate Matter in the Excavation Work Sites in Urban Areas

Giuseppe Pizzo and Marina Clerico

DOI : 10.3844/ajessp.2011.499.504

American Journal of Environmental Sciences

Volume 7, Issue 6

Pages 499-504


Problem statement: Excavation work sites in urban areas for infrastructures and buildings cause a great deal of disturbance and damage due to the emission of particulate matter, in particular in the area involved in urban renovation work. Under Italian legislation limits currently exist for PM10 and PM2, 5 but, in the case of excavation work sites, it would be also necessary to consider limits for Total Suspended Particulate Matter (TSP), but these no longer exist. Approach: A 20-month monitoring period near the exposed population was carried out measuring and analyzing the concentration of TSP, PM10 and PM2, 5. This monitoring was done in order to determine statistically significant results, to find out what the pollutant sources are and the microclimate conditions and the particle-size values to take into account as a critical condition to be managed and controlled inside excavation work sites in an urban area. Results: The data obtained shows that excavation work sites increase particulate matter concentration, which may already be high. PM10 measured near the excavation work site and urban traffic, represented about 70% of TSP. In the city measurement of PM10 were usually around 10% higher. TSP concentration values depended on the type of work activity and, although they were similar to TSP concentration values in the city, sometimes they were 60% higher. Conclusion: The high levels of particulate matter due to the excavation work sites in urban areas can significantly increase the health risk effect. In the roads near the excavation work sites, even when there is no excavation work activity, the resurgence of dust from the ground by vehicles results in high levels of TSP. The results of this study are of interest for local government as a basis for prevention, monitoring and control of environmental impacts due to the dispersion of dust into the atmosphere, generated by excavation work sites.


© 2011 Giuseppe Pizzo and Marina Clerico. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.