Do Petrol Stations Pollute?

another example of what Canadians call a gasbar.

Image via Wikipedia

Assessing the impact of petrol stations on their immediate surroundings (8 page pdf, Journal of Environmental Management, December 2010)

Also discussed here: Petrol stations pollute their immediate surroundings (Eurekalert, FECYT – Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology ,Feb. 4, 2011)

And here: Traffic, Pollution and Scales of Exposure (Pollution Free Cities, Jan 3, 2011)

Research from Spain examines vapour emissions from gas stations. It recommends a 100 m belt around these stations to reduce health impacts, in addition to the risks of roadside emissions which extend some 100-300 m from roads with heavy traffic, according to European studies.


Key Quotes:

“the ratio of the concentrations of aliphatic and aromatic hydrocarbon pollutants in the air of the petrol stations and their surroundings (basically determined by vapor emissions from unburned gasoline) differs from the ratio found in urban air, which is mainly influenced by traffic emissions”

“Some airborne organic compounds – such as benzene, which increases the risk of cancer – have been recorded at petrol stations at levels above the average levels for urban areas where traffic is the primary source of emission”

“In the three cases studied we obtained maximum distances of influence of close to 100 metres, although the average distance over which this contamination has an effect is around 50 metres”

“the distances depend on the number of petrol pumps, the amount of fuel drawn from them, traffic intensity, the structure of the surroundings, and weather conditions”

“the more contaminated the zone surrounding the petrol station as a result of other causes (traffic), the lower the impact of the two pollutants at the service station”

“The procedure should help local authorities in terms of land management, so that a “belt” can be established around petrol stations where housing or vulnerable populations and activities such as those in schools, hospitals and community centers should be restricted”

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