Particulate Matter and Carbon Monoxide Multiple Regression Models Using Environmental Characteristics an a High Diesel-Use Area of Baguio City, Philippines

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In Baguio City, Philippines, a mountainous city of 252,386 people where 61% of motor vehicles use diesel fuel, ambient particulate matter < 2.5 μm (PM2.5) and < 10 μm (PM10) in aerodynamic diameter and carbon monoxide (CO) were measured at 30 street-level locations for 15 min apiece during the early morning (4:50–6:30 am), morning rush hour (6:30–9:10 am) and afternoon rush hour (3:40–5:40 pm) in December 2004. Environmental observations (e.g. traffic-related variables, building/roadway designs, wind speed and direction, etc.) at each location were noted during each monitoring event. Multiple regression models were formulated to determine which pollution sources and environmental factors significantly affect ground-level PM2.5, PM10 and COconcentrations. The models showed statistically significant relationships between traffic and early morning particulate air pollution [(PM2.5p = 0.021) and PM10 (p = 0.048)], traffic and morning rush hour CO (p = 0.048), traffic and afternoon rush hour CO (p = 0.034) and wind and early morning CO(p = 0.044). The mean early morning, street-level PM2.5 (110 ± 8 μg/m3; mean ± 1 standard error) was not significantly different (p-value > 0.05) from either rush hour PM2.5 concentration (morning = 98 ± 7 μg/m3; afternoon = 107 ± 5 μg/m3) due to nocturnal inversions in spite of a 100% increase in automotive density during rush hours. Early morning street-level CO (3.0 ± 1.7 ppm) differed from morning rush hour (4.1 ± 2.3 ppm) (p = 0.039) and afternoon rush hour (4.5 ±2.2 ppm) (p = 0.007). Additionally, PM2.5, PM10, CO, nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and select volatile organic compounds were continuously measured at a downtown, third-story monitoring station along a busy roadway for 11 days. Twenty-four-hour average ambient concentrations were: PM2.5 = 72.9 ± 21 μg/m3; CO = 2.61 ± 0.6 ppm; NO2 = 27.7 ± 1.6 ppb; benzene = 8.4 ± 1.4 μg/m3; ethylbenzene = 4.6 ± 2.0 μg/m3;p-xylene = 4.4 ± 1.9 μg/m3; m-xylene = 10.2 ± 4.4 μg/m3; o-xylene = 7.5 ± 3.2 μg/m3. The multiple regression models suggest that traffic and wind in Baguio City, Philippines significantly affect street-level pollution concentrations. Ambient PM2.5 levels measured are above USEPA daily (65 μg/m3) and Filipino/USEPA annual standards (15 μg/m3) with concentrations of a magnitude rarely seen in most countries except in areas where local topography plays a significant role in air pollution entrapment. The elevated pollution concentrations present and the diesel-rich nature of motor vehicle emissions are important pertaining to human exposure and health information and as such warrant public health concern.