Multi-air pollution risk assessment in Southeast Asia region using integrated remote sensing and socio-economic data products

Sci Total Environ. 2022 Sep 15;158825. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2022.158825. Online ahead of print.


Air pollution has massive impacts on human life and poor air quality results in three million deaths annually. Air pollution can result from natural causes, including volcanic eruptions and extreme droughts, or human activities, including motor vehicle emissions, industry, and the burning of farmland and forests. Emission sources emit multiple pollutant types with diverse characteristics and impacts. However, there has been little research on the risk of multiple air pollutants; thus, it is difficult to identify multi-pollutant mitigation processes, particularly in Southeast Asia, where air pollution moves dynamically across national borders. In this study, the main objective was to develop a multi-air pollution risk index product for CO, NO2, and SO2 based on Sentinel-5P remote sensing data from 2019 to 2020. The risk index was developed by integrating hazard, vulnerability, and exposure analyses. Hazard analysis considers air pollution data from remote sensing, vulnerability analysis considers the air pollution sources, and exposure analysis considers the population density. The novelty of this study lies in its development of a multi-risk model that considers the weights obtained from the relationship between the hazard and vulnerability parameters. The highest air pollution risk index values were observed in urban areas, with a high exposure index that originates from pollution caused by human activity. Multi-risk analysis of the three air pollutants revealed that Singapore, Vietnam, and the Philippines had the largest percentages of high-risk areas, while Indonesia had the largest total high-risk area (4361 km2). Using the findings of this study, the patterns and characteristics of the risk distribution of multiple air pollutants in Southeast Asia can be identified, which can be used to mitigate multi-pollutant sources, particularly with respect to supporting the clean air targets in the Sustainable Development Goals.

Keywords: Air quality; Multi-source air pollution; Risk hazard model; Sentinel 5P; Southeast Asia.