International Journal of Public Health

, Volume 57, Issue 5, pp 757–768

Air pollution interventions and their impact on public health

  • Susann Henschel
  • Richard Atkinson
  • Ariana Zeka
  • Alain Le Tertre
  • Antonis Analitis
  • Klea Katsouyanni
  • Olivier Chanel
  • Mathilde Pascal
  • Bertil Forsberg
  • Sylvia Medina
  • Patrick G. Goodman
Review

DOI: 10.1007/s00038-012-0369-6

Cite this article as:
Henschel, S., Atkinson, R., Zeka, A. et al. Int J Public Health (2012) 57: 757. doi:10.1007/s00038-012-0369-6

Abstract

Introduction

Numerous epidemiological studies have found a link between air pollution and health. We are reviewing a collection of published intervention studies with particular focus on studies assessing both improvements in air quality and associated health effects.

Methods

Interventions, defined as events aimed at reducing air pollution or where reductions occurred as a side effect, e.g. strikes, German reunification, from the 1960s onwards were considered for inclusion. This review is not a complete record of all existing air pollution interventions. In total, 28 studies published in English were selected based on a systematic search of internet databases.

Results

Overall air pollution interventions have succeeded at improving air quality. Consistently published evidence suggests that most of these interventions have been associated with health benefits, mainly by the way of reduced cardiovascular and/or respiratory mortality and/or morbidity. The decrease in mortality from the majority of the reviewed interventions has been estimated to exceed the expected predicted figures based on the estimates from time-series studies.

Conclusion

There is consistent evidence that decreased air pollution levels following an intervention resulted in health benefits for the assessed population.

Keywords

Air pollutionIntervention studyPublic health

Supplementary material

38_2012_369_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (226 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (PDF 225 kb)

Copyright information

© Swiss School of Public Health 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Susann Henschel
    • 1
  • Richard Atkinson
    • 2
  • Ariana Zeka
    • 3
  • Alain Le Tertre
    • 4
  • Antonis Analitis
    • 5
  • Klea Katsouyanni
    • 5
  • Olivier Chanel
    • 6
  • Mathilde Pascal
    • 4
  • Bertil Forsberg
    • 7
  • Sylvia Medina
    • 4
  • Patrick G. Goodman
    • 1
  1. 1.Dublin Institute of TechnologyDublinIreland
  2. 2.St. George’s, University of LondonLondonUK
  3. 3.Brunel UniversityLondonUK
  4. 4.French Institute for Public Health Surveillance, InVSParisFrance
  5. 5.Department of Hygiene, Epidemiology and Medical Statistics, Medical SchoolUniversity of AthensAthensGreece
  6. 6.National Center for Scientific Research, GREQAM and IDEPMarseilleFrance
  7. 7.Umeå UniversityUmeåSweden