A hybrid model for evaluating exposure of the general population in Israel to air pollutants

  • Ilan Levy
  • Isabella Karakis
  • Tamar Berman
  • Moshe Amitay
  • Zohar Barnett-ItzhakiEmail author


Exposure to air pollution is associated with a wide range of health effects, including increased respiratory symptoms, cancer, reproductive and birth defects, and premature death. Air quality measurements by standardized measuring equipment, although accurate, can only provide an estimate for part of the population, with decreasing accuracy further away from the monitoring sites. Estimating pollution levels over large geographical domains requires the use of air quality models which ideally incorporate air quality measurements. In order to estimate actual exposure of the population to air pollution (population-weighted concentrations of air pollutants), there is a need to combine data from air quality models with population density data. Here we present the results of exposure estimates for the entire population of Israel using a chemical transport model combined with measurements from the national monitoring network. We evaluated the individual exposure levels for the entire population to several air pollutants based on census tract units. Using this hybrid model, we found that the entire population of Israel is exposed to concentrations of PM10 and PM2.5 that exceed the target values but are below the environmental values according to the Israeli Clean Air Law. In addition, we found and that over 1.5 million residents are exposed to NOx at concentrations higher than the target values. This data may help decision makers develop targeted interventions to reduce the concentrations of specific pollutants, based on population-weighted exposure.


Ambient air pollution Population-weighted exposure Chemical transport model PM2.5 PM10 



The work of the last author was supported by the Environment and Health Fund, Jerusalem, Israel.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


The views expressed in this manuscript are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the Israeli Ministry of Environmental Protection.

Supplementary material

10661_2019_7960_MOESM1_ESM.docx (15 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 15 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Division of Air Quality and Climate ChangeMinistry of Environmental ProtectionTel AvivIsrael
  2. 2.Public Health ServicesMinistry of HealthJerusalemIsrael
  3. 3.Ashkelon Academic CollegeAshkelonIsrael
  4. 4.Department of Health Promotion, School of Public Health, Sackler Faculty of MedicineTel Aviv UniversityTel AvivIsrael
  5. 5.School of EngineeringRuppin Academic CenterEmek HeferIsrael
  6. 6.Research Center for Health InformaticsRuppin Academic CenterEmek HeferIsrael
  7. 7.Bioinformatics Department, School of Life and Health ScienceJerusalem College of TechnologyJerusalemIsrael

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