Concern over health effects of air pollution is associated to NO2 in seven European cities

  • Evi Dons
  • Michelle Laeremans
  • Esther Anaya-Boig
  • Ione Avila-Palencia
  • Christian Brand
  • Audrey de Nazelle
  • Mailin Gaupp-Berghausen
  • Thomas Götschi
  • Mark Nieuwenhuijsen
  • Juan Pablo Orjuela
  • Elisabeth Raser
  • Arnout Standaert
  • Luc Int Panis
  • on behalf of the PASTA Consortium
Article

Abstract

Subjective perception of air pollution is important and can have impacts on health in its own rights, can lead to protective behaviour, or it can be leveraged to engage citizens and stakeholders in support of cleaner air policies. The aim of the current analysis was to examine associations between level of concern over health effects of air pollution and personal and environmental factors. In seven European cities, 7622 adult participants were recruited to complete an online questionnaire on travel and physical activity behaviour, perceptions and attitudes on active mobility and the environment, and sociodemographics. Air pollution at the home address was determined using Europe-wide PM2.5 and NO2 land use regression models. Mixed effects logistic regression was used to model concern over air pollution (worried versus not worried; city as random effect). Fifty-eight percent of participants were worried over health effects of air pollution with large differences across cities (Antwerp 78%, Barcelona 81%, London 64%, Orebro 11%, Rome 72%, Vienna 43%, Zurich 33%). Linking mean modelled air pollution to mean level of concern per city gave a good correlation for NO2 (r2 = 0.75), and a lower correlation for PM2.5 (r2 = 0.49). In the regression model, sex, having children in the household, levels of physical activity, and NO2 at the home address were significantly linked to individual concern over health effects of air pollution. We found that NO2 but not PM2.5 at the home address was associated with concern over health effects of air pollution.

Keywords

Air pollution Nitrogen dioxide Particulate matter Annoyance Risk perception 

Notes

Acknowledgements

The authors led the study on behalf of the PASTA consortium funded by the 7th Framework Programme of the European Commission (grant agreement 602624). Evi Dons is supported by a postdoctoral scholarship from FWO—Research Foundation Flanders. Michelle Laeremans holds a joint PASTA/VITO PhD scholarship. List of PASTA investigators is as follows: A. Ambros, E. Anaya, I. Avila-Palencia, F. Benvenuti, F. Boschetti, C. Brand, J. Buekers, L. Carniel, G. Carrasco-Turigas, A. Castro, A. Clark, T. Cole-Hunter, A. de Nazelle, E. Dons, U. Eriksson, H. Franzen, M. Gaupp-Berghausen, R. Gerike, R. Girmenia, T. Götschi, F. Hartmann, I. Horvath, F. Iacorossi, L. Int Panis, S. Kahlmeier, M. Laeremans, N. Mueller, M. Nieuwenhuijsen, A. Nilsson, F. Nussio, J.P. Orjuela, F. Racioppi, E. Raser, D. Rojas-Rueda, C. Rothballer, J. Sanchez, R. Schuthof, C. Schweizer, A. Standaert, E. Stigell, N. Tabari, T. Uhlmann, S. Wegener, and V. Zeuschner. Additional files: The full questionnaire of the PASTA longitudinal survey is available from: http://pastaproject.eu/fileadmin/editor-upload/sitecontent/City_survey/PASTA-questionnaires.pdf.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Evi Dons
    • 1
    • 2
  • Michelle Laeremans
    • 2
    • 3
  • Esther Anaya-Boig
    • 4
  • Ione Avila-Palencia
    • 5
    • 6
    • 7
  • Christian Brand
    • 8
  • Audrey de Nazelle
    • 4
  • Mailin Gaupp-Berghausen
    • 9
  • Thomas Götschi
    • 10
  • Mark Nieuwenhuijsen
    • 5
    • 6
    • 7
  • Juan Pablo Orjuela
    • 4
  • Elisabeth Raser
    • 9
  • Arnout Standaert
    • 2
  • Luc Int Panis
    • 2
    • 3
  • on behalf of the PASTA Consortium
  1. 1.Centre for Environmental SciencesHasselt UniversityHasseltBelgium
  2. 2.Flemish Institute for Technological Research (VITO)MolBelgium
  3. 3.Transportation Research Institute (IMOB)Hasselt UniversityDiepenbeekBelgium
  4. 4.Centre for Environmental PolicyImperial College LondonLondonUK
  5. 5.ISGlobalBarcelonaSpain
  6. 6.Universitat Pompeu Fabra (UPF)BarcelonaSpain
  7. 7.CIBER Epidemiología y Salud Pública (CIBERESP)MadridSpain
  8. 8.Transport Studies UnitUniversity of OxfordOxfordUK
  9. 9.Institute for Transport StudiesUniversity of Natural Resources and Life Sciences ViennaViennaAustria
  10. 10.Physical Activity and Health Unit, Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Prevention InstituteUniversity of ZurichZurichSwitzerland

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