Thursday, December 11, 2014

How Many Deaths World-Wide are Caused by Transportation-Related Air Pollution?

Estimating source-attributable health impacts of ambient fine particulate matter exposure: global premature mortality from surface transportation emissions in 2005 (11 page pdf, S E Chambliss, R Silva, J J West, M Zeinali and R Minjares, Environmental Research Letters, Oct. 10, 2014)

Today we review an estimate of the number of air pollution deaths globally caused by transportation, principally PM 2.5. Results indicate that out of 3.2 million air pollution deaths, 242,000 are caused by transportation, with higher numbers in the USA and central Europe related to the proximity of busy roads and an older society, more subject to chronic diseases aggravated by air pollution. global deaths  

Key Quotes:

“Exposure to ambient fine particular matter (PM2.5) was responsible for 3.2 million premature deaths in 2010 and is among the top ten leading risk factors for early death.”

“Approximately 242 000 annual premature deaths were attributable to surface transportation emissions, dominated by China, the United States, the European Union and India….This number is equal to approximately 8.0 percent of all premature deaths attributable to ambient particulate matter.”

“These populations experience higher concentrations of transportation-attributable PM2.5, which may be explained in-part by higher per-capita rates of vehicle ownership and advances in controlling point sources. High-income countries also tend to have older populations and higher baseline rates of chronic disease.”

“At the national level, population-weighted TAF [transportation-attributable fraction] varied widely from a minimum value of <1% in Micronesia to a maximum of 32% in Luxembourg, closely followed by Germany, the Netherlands, and Belgium with 31%”

“It is estimated that up to 45 percent of urban populations in North America live near a major road, and in major cities like Beijing the share may be as high as 76 percent…. Because the transportation-attributable PM2.5 exposure

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