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Article: Assessment of the health impacts and economic burden arising from proposed new air quality objectives in a high pollution environment

TitleAssessment of the health impacts and economic burden arising from proposed new air quality objectives in a high pollution environment
Authors
KeywordsAir pollution
Decision analysis
Air quality objectives
Air quality guidelines
World Health Organization
Issue Date2011
PublisherBentham Open. The Journal's web site is located at http://www.bentham.org/open/toepij/index.htm
Citation
The Open Epidemiology Journal, 2011, v. 4, p. 106-122 How to Cite?
AbstractWe conducted a health impact assessment of the government’s proposed new air quality objectives (AQO) in Hong Kong, a high pollution environment. We based this on the World Health Organization (WHO) 2005 Air Quality Guidelines (AQG) and used a lognormal probability density function to model possible changes in annual mean pollutant levels resulting from the new AQO. All of the proposed short-term AQO were based on WHO interim targets (IT) or AQG, but allowed additional exceedances of these single limit values. Compliance with these short-term AQO may reduce (18-30%) the current annual mean concentrations but the distribution proportions exceeding the annual or annualized AQG remain high (83-100%). For SO2, the proposed 24-hr AQO of 125 µg m-3, with 3 days exceedances, cannot ensure reduction of the current annual mean but may legally permit an increase of the pollutant concentration distribution. If the proposed legal limits of AQO are fully exploited by polluters, we estimated the annual number of avoidable deaths at 1860, and avoidable health care events at 5.2 million doctor visits and 92745 hospital bed-days with a total annual community cost of US$2.6 billion. The proposed AQO may only reduce the current air pollution health impacts by 17% but could achieve 41% reduction if additional exceedances were not permitted. An epidemiologic approach should be adopted to assess external costs arising from modifications of WHOAQG and support accountability in air quality management. This analysis of the WHOAQG in a high pollution setting demonstrates problems arising from the absence of annual limits for some pollutants and the discordance between the short-term and annual AQG, suggesting that revisions based on a lognormal probability model should be considered.
Persistent Identifierhttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/142564
ISSN

 

DC FieldValueLanguage
dc.contributor.authorLai, HKen_US
dc.contributor.authorWong, CMen_US
dc.contributor.authorMcGhee, Sen_US
dc.contributor.authorHedley, AJen_US
dc.date.accessioned2011-10-28T02:51:40Z-
dc.date.available2011-10-28T02:51:40Z-
dc.date.issued2011en_US
dc.identifier.citationThe Open Epidemiology Journal, 2011, v. 4, p. 106-122en_US
dc.identifier.issn1874-2971-
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/142564-
dc.description.abstractWe conducted a health impact assessment of the government’s proposed new air quality objectives (AQO) in Hong Kong, a high pollution environment. We based this on the World Health Organization (WHO) 2005 Air Quality Guidelines (AQG) and used a lognormal probability density function to model possible changes in annual mean pollutant levels resulting from the new AQO. All of the proposed short-term AQO were based on WHO interim targets (IT) or AQG, but allowed additional exceedances of these single limit values. Compliance with these short-term AQO may reduce (18-30%) the current annual mean concentrations but the distribution proportions exceeding the annual or annualized AQG remain high (83-100%). For SO2, the proposed 24-hr AQO of 125 µg m-3, with 3 days exceedances, cannot ensure reduction of the current annual mean but may legally permit an increase of the pollutant concentration distribution. If the proposed legal limits of AQO are fully exploited by polluters, we estimated the annual number of avoidable deaths at 1860, and avoidable health care events at 5.2 million doctor visits and 92745 hospital bed-days with a total annual community cost of US$2.6 billion. The proposed AQO may only reduce the current air pollution health impacts by 17% but could achieve 41% reduction if additional exceedances were not permitted. An epidemiologic approach should be adopted to assess external costs arising from modifications of WHOAQG and support accountability in air quality management. This analysis of the WHOAQG in a high pollution setting demonstrates problems arising from the absence of annual limits for some pollutants and the discordance between the short-term and annual AQG, suggesting that revisions based on a lognormal probability model should be considered.-
dc.languageengen_US
dc.publisherBentham Open. The Journal's web site is located at http://www.bentham.org/open/toepij/index.htm-
dc.relation.ispartofThe Open Epidemiology Journalen_US
dc.rightsThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.-
dc.subjectAir pollution-
dc.subjectDecision analysis-
dc.subjectAir quality objectives-
dc.subjectAir quality guidelines-
dc.subjectWorld Health Organization-
dc.titleAssessment of the health impacts and economic burden arising from proposed new air quality objectives in a high pollution environmenten_US
dc.typeArticleen_US
dc.identifier.emailLai, HK: hklai@graduate.hku.hken_US
dc.identifier.emailWong, CM: hrmrwcm@hkucc.hku.hken_US
dc.identifier.emailMcGhee, S: smmcghee@hkucc.hku.hken_US
dc.identifier.emailHedley, AJ: hrmrajh@hkucc.hku.hken_US
dc.identifier.authorityLai, HK=rp01527en_US
dc.identifier.authorityWong, CM=rp00338en_US
dc.identifier.authorityMcGhee, S=rp00393en_US
dc.identifier.authorityHedley, AJ=rp00357en_US
dc.description.naturepublished_or_final_version-
dc.identifier.doi10.2174/1874297101104010106-
dc.identifier.hkuros184187en_US
dc.identifier.volume4en_US
dc.identifier.spage106en_US
dc.identifier.epage122en_US
dc.publisher.placeNetherlands-

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