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The role of burden of disease assessment in tracking progress towards achieving WHO global air quality guidelines.

Authors
  • Evangelopoulos, Dimitris1, 2
  • Perez-Velasco, Roman3
  • Walton, Heather4, 5
  • Gumy, Sophie6
  • Williams, Martin4
  • Kelly, Frank J4, 5
  • Künzli, Nino7, 8
  • 1 Environmental Research Group, Imperial College, London, United Kingdom. [email protected] , (United Kingdom)
  • 2 National Institute for Health Research Health Protection Unit: Environmental Exposures and Health, Imperial College, London, United Kingdom. [email protected] , (United Kingdom)
  • 3 European Centre for Environment and Health, World Health Organization Regional Office for Europe, Bonn, Germany. , (Germany)
  • 4 Environmental Research Group, Imperial College, London, United Kingdom. , (United Kingdom)
  • 5 National Institute for Health Research Health Protection Unit: Environmental Exposures and Health, Imperial College, London, United Kingdom. , (United Kingdom)
  • 6 World Health Organization, Geneva, Switzerland. , (Switzerland)
  • 7 Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Swiss TPH), Basel, Switzerland. , (Switzerland)
  • 8 University of Basel, Basel, Switzerland. , (Switzerland)
Type
Published Article
Journal
International journal of public health
Publication Date
Oct 15, 2020
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1007/s00038-020-01479-z
PMID: 33057794
Source
Medline
Keywords
Language
English
License
Unknown

Abstract

More than 90% of the global population live in areas exceeding the PM2.5 air quality guidelines (AQGs). We provide an overview of the ambient PM2.5-related burden of disease (BoD) studies along with scenario analysis in the framework of the WHO AQG update on the estimated reduction in the BoD if AQGs were achieved globally. We reviewed the literature for large-scale studies for the BoD attributed to ambient PM2.5. Moreover, we used the latest WHO statistics to calculate the BoD at current levels and the scenarios of aligning with interim targets and AQG levels. The most recent BoD studies (2010 onwards) share a similar methodology, but there are differences in the input data which affect the estimates for attributable deaths (2.9-8.9 million deaths annually). Moreover, we found that if AQGs were achieved, the estimated BoD would be reduced by up to 50% in total deaths worldwide. Understanding the BoD across countries, especially in those that do not align with the AQGs, is essential in order to inform actions to reduce air pollution globally.

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