Trees May Affect Urban Air Quality Studies Say

Nov 04, 2015 04:37 PM EST | By Eva Etha Marie Monares

People believe that trees greatly contribute to providing us good air quality. This fact is commonly known to people. However there are recent studies that say otherwise. There are now studies that say trees may contribute to a city's poor air quality.

These studies show that trees may worsen the quality of air in urban areas by trapping pollutants like NO2 and other dangerous microscopic particles from diesel vehicles and cooking, according to Gizmodo. With this new information about trees in urban settings it is important to study what researchers have to say. Through this, people could understand the effects of trees on our urban environment.

In urban areas, solid things like buildings and trees can prevent air from its natural flow according to some studies. The result will be pollutants pointed to the wrong direction and polluted air to be dropped into the breathing zone. This can be highly detrimental to people who have weak and sensitive hearts and lungs.

Another effect is that air can be trapped in one area and pollutants not allowed to escape the street. Microscopic pollutants will be trapped mostly by trees because of trees' large, porous surface. And based on experimental studies, these pollutants can end up in leaves. This effect can be brought about by a line of trees in full bloom creating a green canopy over a street. Trees can even affect the atmosphere's chemical composition.

So do we stop planting trees? No, not at all.

They key is to know the best location to plant trees. Where they will be planted should not only rely solely on the aesthetic quality. The most important criteria that should be considered is where trees are planted to best benefit the populace. Trees truly provide many benefits but aside from knowing these benefits, you also need to know all the facts. And these facts should be well-known by local authorities and urban planners.

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