MEASURING OF BLACK CARBON CONCENTRATIONS, SUMMARIZING RAISED BLOOD PRESSURE DATA AND IDENTIFYING SPECULATIVE EFFECT ON RAISED BLOOD PRESSURE
Black carbon, as one of the main air pollutants, has gained a significant amount of attention in the last few years. It affects Earth’s climate as well as human health, especially in urban areas where it accumulates in greater amounts because of the dense setting of its sources such as traffic, industry and residential heating. The aim of this study was to investigate black carbon distribution and factors that influence its dispersion and consequently human health. Measurements were carried out in two separate parts, in winter 2017/2018 and spring 2017. Within sampling area, urban and background areas of Celje were included in the study. This setting of the measurements was selected with the purpose of investigating BC’s distribution and changes in its concentrations, while also finding how temperatures, wind, precipitation and traffic affect BC’s features. The results showed the highest black carbon concentrations always occur in the areas with heavy traffic flow, either in colder or warmer parts of the year (7.48 ± 6.48 µg m–3 in winter and 7.25 ± 6.06 µg m–3 in spring). Outcomes of the research also proved that wind speed, rainfall and temperatures affect black carbon dispersion as well as other factors like traffic density, time of day or day of the week. This study also revealed associations between black carbon oscillation and high blood pressure, especially during the winter period.
Key words: black carbon; city pollution; environment; health; blood pressure