Air Pollution & Health by Jason West, PhD

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  A presentation made at the 2015 NC BREATHE Conference by Jason West, PhD of University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill. Sponsored by Clean Air Carolina and partners, the 2015 NC BREATHE Conference was held on March 27, 2015 in Raleigh, NC to bring together air quality researchers, medical and public health professionals, and policymakers to share the latest research on the health impacts of air pollution, the positive health outcomes related to clean air policy-making, and the resulting economic benefits.
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  • 1. Air Pollution: What are the health risks at current levels in the U.S? Junfeng (Jim) Zhang Professor of Global and Environmental Health
  • 2. NOx SIP call RVP phased in The NAAQS - getting better all the time Bachmann 2007;57:652-97
  • 3. Fine-Particulate Air Pollution and Life Expectancy in the United States. Arden Pope, III, Ph.D., Majid Ezzati, Ph.D., and Douglas W. Dockery, Sc.D N Engl J Med 2009;360:376-86 Reductions in air pollution accounted for up to 5 months or 15% of total increased life expectancy (2.7 years) since 1970 Clean Air Act. 4
  • 4. What are risks at current levels? • For mortality: – Short-term increases in mortality – Longer-term increases in mortality • For morbidity: – Diverse adverse respiratory effects – Adverse cardiovascular effects – Other effects: reproductive, etc
  • 5. -2.00 -1.00 0.00 1.00 2.00 3.00 4.00 % change Chicago Minneapolis Colorado Springs New Haven St. Paul Overall Tacoma Spokane Seattle Tucson p < 0.05 Schwartz 1999 Schwartz 1997 % Change in daily emergency admissions for cardiovascular disease associated with a 10 µg/m3 increase in daily PM10 concentration
  • 6. Air Pollution and Reproductive Effects 0 20 40 60 80 100 120 140 160 180 RecordCount Publication Year *partial year data PubMed search string: ("air pollution"[MeSH Terms] OR ("air"[All Fields] AND "pollution"[All Fields]) OR "air pollution"[All Fields]) AND ("reproduction"[MeSH Terms] OR "reproduction"[All Fields] OR "reproductive"[All Fields]) *
  • 7. SCIENTIFIC AND POLICY CHALLENGES
  • 8. The Narrowing Range of Exposure PM level NAAQS 1971 Risk NAAQS 1987 NAAQS 1997 NAAQS 2006 Policy-Related Background National Ambient Air Quality Standards http://www.epa.gov/ttn/naaqs/standards/pm/s_pm_index.html
  • 9. What is the Form of the Concentration-Response Relationship? Concentration Risk Sublinear Supra-linear Linear, Threshold Linear, No-threshold Policy Implication: For the same amount of risk reduction, different amount of concentration reduction is needed under different shapes of concentration-response curves.
  • 10. Air Pollution & Health J. Jason West Dept. of Environmental Sciences & Engineering Univ. of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
  • 11. How do we understand air pollution? WRF Met model SMOKE Emission processor CMAQ Air quality model Burden of disease model Recommendations for future measurements Emissions inventories Met measurements AQ, satellite measurements Emissions Concentrations Health Effects Exposure
  • 12. 17 Global mortality burden – ACCMIP ensemble Ozone-related mortality PM2.5-related mortality(*) 470,000 (95% CI: 140,000 - 900,000) 2.1 million (95% CI: 1.3 - 3.0 million) (*) PM2.5 calculated as a sum of species (dark blue) PM2.5 as reported by 4 models (dark green) Light-colored bars - low-concentration threshold (5.8 µg m-3) Silva et al. ERL 2013
  • 13. 18 Global Burden: PM2.5-related mortality CPD+LC mortality , deaths yr-1 (1000 km2)-1, multi-model mean in each grid cell , 6 models Global and regional mortality per year Regions Total deaths Deaths per million people (*) North America 43,000 152 Europe 154,000 448 Former Soviet Union 128,000 793 Middle East 88,700 371 India 397,000 715 East Asia 1,049,000 1,191 Southeast Asia 158,000 564 South America 16,800 92 Africa 77,500 327 Australia 1,250 78 Global 2,110,000 665 1 (*) Exposed population (age 30 and older) Silva et al. (2013)
  • 14. Brauer et al., 2012 Combining multiple data streams: measurements, model, satellite
  • 15. Global burden of disease of outdoor air pollution Lim et al., 2012 3.2 million deaths per year (95% CI:2.8 – 3.6 million) WHO GBD 2010
  • 16. Some uncertainties • Sources – understanding difficult sources like fires, windblown dust, residential sources. • Chemical mechanisms – improve complex processes like SOA formation, PM size- composition. • Observations – lack of observations in rural regions, new opportunities with satellites.
  • 17. US Policy-relevant analyses Analysis of individual sector contributions to US air pollution mortality. Fann et al., EST, 2013
  • 18. Co-benefits of global GHG mitigation for air quality and health Avoided air pollution-related deaths from global GHG reductions: 2030: 0.5 ± 0.2 million yr-1 2050: 1.3 ± 0.5 2100: 2.2 ± 0.8 2030 Monetized health co-benefits (blue & red) vs. cost of GHG reduction (green): West et al., NCC, 2013
  • 19. Better relating atmospheric science and health impacts • Communities need to work together more! – Use models and satellites to estimate exposure for epidemiologic studies. – Better measure key pollutants of interest (ultrafine PM, chemical components of PM, metals). – Estimate air pollution by source for epidemiologic studies. – Better relate “ambient concentration” with personal exposure to drive health studies.
  • 20. Goal for Today’s Discussion Identify 3-5 recommendations and opportunities to improve scientific understanding of air pollution and its health effects. • Foci – a city, NC, USA, global • Aspects of science – understanding sources, atmospheric processes, mechanisms of health impacts, epidemiology. • Links with other problems – climate change, mobility, energy, economics, related health effects.
  • 21. Science & Health Recommendations • Communication of science to public & policy – what is the nugget? – Make it personal – Citizen science, ozone gardens, daily air pollution communication – Overcoming scientific demoralism – How to visualize air quality & health effects? – Training scientists to communicate. Use communication professionals. • Analysis inspired by policy – Importance of different sectors, sources – Agriculture is underappreciated & undercontrolled in NC • Improving health effects studies – Take advantage of key health data (NC DETECT) – Relation of air pollution with precursors of disease (anxiety, pain, mood, obesity) – Susceptible populations – Analysis of Mixtures, pollutant properties – Citizen science – Effects of bioaccumulation, understand toxicity. • Atmospheric scientists and health scientists working together better – Better methods to work across scales. – Provide info on sources. • Plan for interventions to prevent health effects – Diet & exercise as mitigating factor. – Working with susceptible populations
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