Thursday, January 6, 2011

Traffic Impacts on Health in Italian Cities

Atardecer en Via Rizzoli, Bolonia, Italia
Image via Wikipedia

Health Impact Assessment of Air Pollution in the Eight Major Italian Cities (65 page pdf, WHO European Centre for Environment and Health, 2002)

Key Quotes:

“these results confirm the findings from several investigations worldwide: in large cities of industrialized countries, a sizeable proportion of several adverse health effects, including mortality, is due to bad air quality”

“In Italy the characteristics of the monitoring stations are indicated by a law that defines four main types, based only on qualitative criteria:

  • urban background station;

  • high density population station;

  • high traffic station;

  • suburban photochemical”

“Each city has a different number of stations (ranging from 7 in Bologna and Palermo to 19 in Genoa)

“Among people older than 30, 4.7% of all deaths are attributable to PM10 concentrations in excess of 30 ug/m3. The attributable proportion of mortality range from 3.5% in Palermo to 5.7% in Turin

“4.7% of mortality (95%CI: 1.7 – 7.5) is attributable to PM10 concentrations higher than 30 ug/m3. This proportion increases to 7.0% using 20 ug/m3 as reference. The numbers of yearly attributable deaths are 3,472 and 5,108 respectively”

“the estimates provided in this report rely on effects of PM only, in order to preclude double counting of health effects related to air pollution. As a result, it is likely that the total effect of air pollution is underestimated”

“The main source of PM10 in Italian cities is motor vehicle traffic, including diesels and two-stroke motorcycles”

“Health consequences of urban transport policies largely based on private motor vehicles are likely to be more severe, and that reducing emissions from motor vehicles (the main source of PM10 in cities of industrialized countries) would benefit the health of urban populations”

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