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  • br Conclusions br This paper studied atmospheric


    4. Conclusions
    This paper studied atmospheric levels of benzene in 11 cities across Europe in terms of synoptic circulation. Nine atmospheric circulation patterns were created from the applied cluster analysis procedure and the adverse effect of anticyclonic activity on benzene related air quality was underlined. Increased benzene concentrations in central con-tinental Europe and Northern Europe were related to the influence of extended high pressure systems located over NWR, whereas weak pressure gradient fields, which are markers of light winds, were 
    connected with the degradation of air quality across Southern Europe due to air stagnation. Low benzene concentrations at 9 out of 11 sam-pling sites were associated with a specific circulation regime, which usually appeared within warm periods. Hence, the impact of intensified anthropogenic combustion on benzene levels during cold periods was identified.
    The calculated ILCR revealed potential health risks from the ex-posure to benzene through inhalation at all areas, whilst ILCR values at all traffic sites were not recommendable. The allocation of the esti-mated ILCR at the 9 atmospheric regimes showed that clusters with increased benzene levels commonly accounted for large fractions of the total risk however in some cases the impact of highly polluted clusters on ILCR was reduced, due to the lack of appearance of these circulation types.
    According to the findings of this study meteorology and local emissions are key parameters which are combined to determine ben-zene levels and corresponding ILCR in Europe. The findings of this study can be used by the authorities across Europe in order to create a decision-making system, which will advise the 5-BrdU of specific regions and especially the most sensitive cohorts of the population to avoid major source areas of benzene (e.g. traffic arteries, chemical in-dustries etc), when the atmospheric circulation favors the increment of its concentration. In addition, the same decision-making system must have the jurisdiction to instruct the reduction of benzene emissions under critical meteorological conditions. As a closure, we would like to underline the fact that the time series of the used data cover the years 2008–2012, thus further research with more recent observations of carcinogenic compounds could enhance the main conclusions of our study concerning the influence of atmospheric conditions on ILCR.
    Conflicts of interest
    K. Dimitriou, P. Kassomenos
    Declaration of interests
    The authors declare that they have no known competing financial interests or personal relationships that could have appeared to influ-ence the work reported in this paper.
    The authors would like to recognize the contribution of the European Environment Agency (EEA), for the provision of air pollution data through the AirBase website. In addition we would like to thank the NOAA/OAR/ESRL PSD, Boulder, Colorado, USA, for the provision of NCEP Reanalysis data from their Web site at https://www.esrl.noaa. gov/psd/.
    Appendix A. Supplementary data
    This research did not receive any specific grant from funding agencies in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors.
    Dafis, S., Lolis, C.J., Houssos, E.E., Bartzokas, A., 2015. The atmospheric circulation characteristics favouring snowfall in an area with complex relief in Northwestern Greece. Int. J. Climatol. 36 (10), 3561–3577. Dimitriou, K., Kassomenos, P., 2018. The influence of specific atmospheric circulation types on PM10-bound benzo(a)pyrene inhalation related lung cancer risk in Barcelona, Spain. Environ. Int. 112, 107–114.