The public health context for PM2.5 and ozone air quality trends
- 909 Downloads
Tropospheric ozone (O3) and particulate matter (PM2.5) are associated with adverse health effects, including premature mortality. Regulation of these pollutants by the US Environmental Protection Agency has resulted in significant improvements in air quality over the last decade, as demonstrated by a national network of air quality monitors. However, ambient trends provide limited information regarding either the change in population exposure to these pollutants or how fluctuations in the levels of these pollutants might affect public health. We leverage the spatially and temporally extensive monitoring network in the US to estimate the improvements to public health associated with monitored air quality changes over a 7-year period. We estimate the impacts of monitored changes in ozone and PM2.5 on premature mortality using health impact functions based on short-term relative risk estimates for O3 and long-term relative risk estimates for PM2.5. We spatially interpolate the O3 and PM2.5 data and utilize ozone air quality data that are adjusted for meteorological variability. We estimate that reductions in monitored PM2.5 and ozone from 2000 to 2007 are associated with 22,000–60,000 PM2.5 and 880–4,100 ozone net avoided premature mortalities. The change in estimated premature mortality can be highly variable from 1 year to the next, sometimes by thousands of deaths. The estimate of avoided ozone-related mortalities is sensitive to the use of meteorologically-adjusted air quality inputs. Certain locations, including Los Angeles and Houston see an opposing trend between mortality impacts attributable to ozone and PM2.5.We find that improving air quality over the past 7 years has reduced premature mortality significantly.
KeywordsAir quality trends Ozone PM2.5 Health impacts
This paper has not been subjected to EPA peer and administrative review; therefore, the conclusions and opinions contained herein are solely those of the authors, and should not be construed to reflect the views of the EPA. The authors thank V. Rao, B. Cox, and E. Baldridge for providing technical guidance regarding the air quality inputs to this analysis. We thank S. Anenberg for providing valuable editorial support.
- ABT Associates Incorporated (2008) Environmental Benefits and Mapping Program (Version 3.0). Bethesda, MD. Prepared for US Environmental Protection Agency Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards. Research Triangle Park, NC. Available at: http://www.epa.gov/air/benmap. Accessed Nov 2010
- Cox WM, Chu S (1993) Meteorologically adjusted ozone trends in urban areas: a probabilistic approach. Atmos Environ 27B:425–434Google Scholar
- GeoLytics Inc. (2002) Geolytics CensusCD® 2000 Short Form Blocks. CD-ROM Release 1.0. East Brunswick, NJ:GeoLytics, Inc. Available at: http://www.geolytics.com/. Accessed 29 Sept 2004.
- Krewski D, Jerrett M, Burnett RT, Ma R, Hughes E, Shi, Y, et al (2009) Extended follow-up and spatial analysis of the American Cancer Society study linking particulate air pollution and mortality. HEI Research Report, 140, Health Effects Institute, Boston, MAGoogle Scholar
- Woods & Poole Economics Inc (2001) Population by single year of age CD. CD-ROM. Woods & Poole Economics, Inc., Washington, DCGoogle Scholar
- Pope CA, Thun MJ, Namboodiri MM, Dockery DW, Evans JS, Speizer FE, Heath CW (1995) Particulate air pollution as a predictor of mortality in a prospective study of US adults. Am J Respir Crit Care Med 151:669–674Google Scholar
- Schwartz J, Coull B, Laden F, Ryan L (2008) The effect of dose and timing of dose on the association between airborne particles and survival. Environ Health Perspect 118:64–69Google Scholar
- US Environmental Protection Agency (2006a) Air Quality Criteria for Ozone and Related Photochemical Oxidants. US Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, DC, EPA/600/R-05/004aF-cFGoogle Scholar
- US Environmental Protection Agency (2006b) Regulatory Impact analysis for the Particulate Matter National Ambient Air Quality Standards. Research Triangle ParkGoogle Scholar
- US Environmental Protection Agency (2008a) National Air Quality – Status and Trends through 2007. EPA-454/R-08-006. Research Triangle Park, NC: US Environmental Protection AgencyGoogle Scholar
- US Environmental Protection Agency (2008b) Regulatory impact analysis of the revisions to the national ambient air quality standards for ozoneGoogle Scholar
- US Environmental Protection Agency (2008c) Technology Transfer Network: Air Quality System. Washington, DC: US Environmental Protection Agency. Available at: http://www.epa.gov/ttn/airs/airsaqs/sysoverview.htm. Accessed on 5 Jan 2010.
- US Environmental Protection Agency (2008d) Integrated Science Assessment for Particulate Matter (External Review Draft). US Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, DC, EPA/600/R-08/139Google Scholar
- US Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) (2010) Quantitative Health Risk Assessment for Particulate Matter (Second External Draft). Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards, Research Triangle Park, NC. February. Available at: http://www.epa.gov/ttn/naaqs/standards/pm/data/20100209RA2ndExternalReviewDraft.pdf. Accessed Nov 2010