Environmental Monitoring and Assessment

, Volume 185, Issue 8, pp 6933-6942

First online:

Human health damage caused by particulate matter PM10 and ozone in urban environments: the case of Athens, Greece

  • P. A. KassomenosAffiliated withDepartment of Physics, Laboratory of Meteorology, University of Ioannina
  • , K. DimitriouAffiliated withDepartment of Physics, Laboratory of Meteorology, University of Ioannina
  • , A. K. PaschalidouAffiliated withDepartment of Physics, Laboratory of Meteorology, University of Ioannina Email author 

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Studies conducted over the past decades have provided substantial evidence that both the long- and the short-term exposures to ozone and particulate matter are responsible for mortality and cardiopulmonary morbidity. This paper examines the relationship between exposure to ambient concentrations of ozone (O3) and particulate matter with aerodynamic diameter of less than 10 μm (PM10) and public health and provides the quantification of the burden of disease from PM10 and O3-related mortality and morbidity through a Life Cycle Impact Assessment focused on the greater area of Athens, Greece. Thus, characterizations factors (CFs) for human health damage are calculated in 17 sites in Athens, in terms of the annual marginal change in the disability-adjusted life years (DALYs) due to a marginal increase in the ambient concentrations. It is found that the PM10 intake factors range between 1.25 × 10−6 and 2.78 × 10−6, suggesting that 1.25–2.78 μg of PM10 are inhaled by the Athenian population per kg of PM10 in the urban atmosphere. Mortality due to chronic exposure to PM10 has a dominant contribution to years of life lost with values ranging between 6.2 × 10−5 and 1.1 × 10−4. On the other hand, the mortality caused by short-term exposure to O3 is weaker with the CFs ranging between 1.58 × 10−7 years of life lost in the urban/traffic areas and 4.71 × 10−7 years in the suburbs. Finally, it is found that 9,000 DALYs are lost on average in Athens, corresponding to 0.0018 DALYs per person. This is equal to 0.135 DALYs per person over a lifetime of approximately 75 years, assuming constant emission rates for the whole period.


Life cycle impact assessment Human health damage Disability-adjusted life years PM10 O3