Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 24, Issue 11, pp 10695–10707 | Cite as

Estimation of the PM2.5 health effects in China during 2000–2011

  • Jiansheng Wu
  • Jie Zhu
  • Weifeng Li
  • Duo Xu
  • Jianzheng Liu
Research Article


Exposure to fine particulate matter (PM2.5) has been associated with mortality, but the extent of the adverse impacts differs across various regions. A quantitative estimation of health effects attributed to PM2.5 in China is urgently required, particularly because it has the largest population and high air pollution levels. Based on the remote sensing-derived PM2.5 and grid population data, we estimated the acute health effects of PM2.5 in China using an exposure-response function. The results suggest the following: (1) The proportion of the population exposed to high PM2.5 concentrations (>35 μg/m3) increased consistently from 2000 to 2011, and the population exposed to concentrations above the threshold defined by World Health Organization (WHO) (>10 μg/m3) rose from 1,191,191,943 to 1,290,562,965. (2) The number of deaths associated with PM2.5 exposure increased steadily from 107,608 in 2000 to 173,560 in 2010, with larger numbers in the eastern region. (3) PM2.5 health effects decreased in three pollution control scenarios estimated for 2017, i.e., the Air Pollution Prevention and Control Action Plan (APPCAP) scenario, the APPCAP under WHO IT-1 scenario (35 μg/m3), and the APPCAP under WHO IT-3 scenario (15 μg/m3), which indicates that pollution control can effectively reduce PM2.5 effects on mortality.


Health effects Fine particulate matter Population Mortality China Quantitative estimation 



This research was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 41471370) and Science and Technology Innovation Fund of Shenzhen (JCYJ20140903101902349).

Author contributions

J. Wu and W. Li designed the study, performed data analysis, and reviewed and approved the manuscript. J. Zhu and D. Xu participated in data analysis and manuscript writing. J. Liu participated in data analysis.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflicts of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

11356_2017_8673_MOESM1_ESM.docx (28 kb)
ESM 1 The following are available online at, Table S1: The target concentration of PM2.5 in the Air Pollution Prevention and Control Action Plan (APPCAP) scenario, Table S2: The ranking of province health effects in 2000, 2006, 2008, and 2010, Table S3: The ranking of province health effects in three different situations (DOCX 28 kb).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.College of Urban and Environmental Sciences, Laboratory for Earth Surface Processes, Ministry of EducationPeking UniversityBeijingChina
  2. 2.The Key Laboratory for Habitat Environmental Science and Technology, School of Urban Planning and DesignPeking University Shenzhen Graduate SchoolShenzhenChina
  3. 3.Department of Urban Planning and Designthe University of Hong KongHong KongChina
  4. 4.Shenzhen Institute of Research and Innovationthe University of Hong KongShenzhenChina

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