Almenn verkefni 2024

Heiti verkefnis : 

Samanburður áhrifa mikillar umferðar á loftgæði bæjarfélaga utan höfuðborgarsvæðisins

Verkefnastjóri : 


Stutt lýsing á verkefninu:


Public interest in air pollution in Iceland has been growing in recent years. The interest is mainly due to increased public awareness of the effects of pollution on people's health and quality of life. In Iceland, in 2017, it is estimated that 80 deaths were related to air pollution (Umhverfisstofnun, 2017). To assess the impacts of air pollution on public health, measurements for air quality parameters such as sulfur dioxide (SO2), oxides of nitrogen such as NO2, respirable suspended particulate matter (RSPM/PM10), and fine particulate matter (PM2.5) must be available to describe the direct exposure to which citizens are exposed. Today, air quality is monitored with the use of stations operated by the Environment Agency of Iceland (EAI), which have high investment and maintenance costs. Thus, the quantity of measurement points has been and remains limited, and in some areas, particularly outside of the Icelandic Capital Region (ICR), is nonexistent.

Traffic in small towns in the past decade has increased substantially, mainly from tourism, and traffic is a known source of anthropogenic air pollution, especially in Iceland in the winter where the usage of pollution-generating studded tires is prevalent. This project aims to study the pollution-generating effects of studded tires outside of the ICR.

Tilgangur og markmið:


For the past two years, ReSource International ehf. (RSI) has been actively working on supporting municipalities to install new air quality sensors with low investment costs and data that is accessible to the public. Additionally, RSI is in the process of installing air quality sensors on behalf of Vegagerðin for a previous grant project (Aukin svæðisbundin þekking á loftgæðum höfuðborgarsvæðisins með notkun lofgæðamælanets). The proposed project is in conjunction of these efforts outside Icelandic Capital Region and is aimed at developing air quality monitoring where it is non-existent using an innovative approach.

This project aims to focus on one town, Selfoss, which experiences high volumes of daily traffic passing between Reykjavík and southern Iceland. There are other towns in Iceland that also experience high volumes of daily traffic, and this study will serve to create a strong foundation for future studies of the effects of these high traffic volumes on small communities around Iceland. The project will focus on answering the following questions:

  • What are the effects of the road traffic on the air quality of small towns?
  • Can air quality monitoring support the design of new roads to minimize the negative health impacts from traffic?

The main goals of the project are:

  • Increase public awareness of air quality in their local environment;
  • Increase monitoring points in a cost-efficient manner;
  • Improve knowledge of the distribution of particulate matter and other air pollution parameters over time;
  • Increase knowledge of health effects from traffic and provide background information for decision makers from the Road Authorities’ planning team.
  • Create a baseline of knowledge and data that can be used in future studies. For example, the results of this study would be useful if a new study is created after the new road bypassing Selfoss is completed. These results could show how air quality in the community is improved by moving traffic out of the town center.