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Changes of Air Quality Health Index in a coastal city of southeastern Aegean Sea between a summer and winter period of 2022
* 1, 2 , 1 , 1 , 1 , 1
1  Centre for Research and Technology Hellas, Chemical Process and Energy Resources Institute
2  Laboratory of Atmospheric Physics, Department of Physics, Faculty of Sciences, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki
Academic Editor: Daniele Contini


The increased concentration of pollutants is a challenge for the population health. This work aims to investigate the health risk that is related to pollutants’ level in the center of Rhodes city. Rhodes Island is a desirable tourist destination with important economic activity over the southeastern Aegean Sea. The analysis covers the (summer) July-August months and the (winter) December month of 2022. Hourly recordings of the concentrations of PM2.5, NO2 and O3 from a mobile Air Quality Monitoring System (AQMS) are analyzed. In order to investigate the effects of pollution level on people’s health, the Air Quality Health Index (AQHI) is calculated. Results show that summer compared to winter period shows increased health danger possibly due to the increased traffic emissions, tourist density as well as the different meteorological conditions. In summer period, the AQHI is classified between the upper Low to Medium health risk class and during winter month, AQHI is classified in Low health risk class, respectively. The AQHI diurnal variability is higher during July-August compared to December. Additionally, the diurnal differences between two periods show increased health risk for summer months mainly between the hours from early evening to early morning. Finally, the analysis shows that the traffic activities affect the health risk and highlight that the authorities should adopt green policies to protect human’s health.

Keywords: Air quality health index (AQHI); air quality; pollution; Rhodes Island; southeastern Mediterranean; Aegean Sea; PM2.5; NO2; O3