Wednesday, December 19, 2012

How Well Do Countries Follow Ambient Air Pollution Standards?

Global review of national ambient air quality standards for PM10 and SO2 (24 h)(7 page pdf, Candace Vahlsing & Kirk R. Smith, Air Qual Atmos Health, Jan. 2011)

Today we review an assessment of national air quality standards for PM10 and SO2 for over 80% of the population of the world compared to guidelines issued by the United Nations through the World Health Organization. Results indicate that average national standards in place exceed those of the WHO. Also, the degree of national compliance is inversely proportional to energy use and directly proportional to observed national PM levels i.e. standards are less applied in high energy use countries and more applied where the pollution is poorer. An interesting observation when it comes to health impacts fro air pollution is that countries tend to restrict their use of these studies tot hose conducted within their country rather than extrapolate findings from other countries. amb aq  

Key Quotes:

“This paper reviews the 24-h national AAQSs for particulate matter less than ten micrometers in aerodynamic diameter (PM10) and sulfur dioxide (SO2) globally… for 96 countries, which represent 84% of the global population”

 “The average AAQS for both PM10 and SO2 are substantially higher than the recommended World Health Organization Air Quality Guideline (WHO AQG) value”

“Energy use, health/government expenditure, and country level PM10 concentration had the strongest association to PM10 AAQS stringency”

 “Most of the respondents (77%) indicated they only use epidemiology studies that have been conducted in their own country and require the epidemiology studies used for standard setting to be peer-reviewed (75%)”
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