Health benefits of air pollution abatement policy: Role of the shape of the concentration–response function

C. Arden Pope, Maureen Cropper, Jay Coggins, Aaron Cohen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

57 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

There is strong evidence that fine particulate matter (aerodynamic diameter <2.5 μm; PM2.5) air pollution contributes to increased risk of disease and death. Estimates of the burden of disease attributable to PM2.5 pollution and benefits of reducing pollution are dependent upon the shape of the concentration response (C-R) functions. Recent evidence suggests that the C-R function between PM2.5 air pollution and mortality risk may be supralinear across wide ranges of exposure. Such results imply that incremental pollution abatement efforts may yield greater benefits in relatively clean areas than in highly polluted areas. The role of the shape of the C-R function in evaluating and understanding the costs and health benefits of air pollution abatement policy is explored. There remain uncertainties regarding the shape of the C-R function, and additional efforts to more fully understand the C-R relationships between PM2.5 and adverse health effects are needed to allow for more informed and effective air pollution abatement policies. Current evidence, however, suggests that there are benefits both from reducing air pollution in the more polluted areas and from continuing to reduce air pollution in cleaner areas. Implications: Estimates of the benefits of reducing PM2.5 air pollution are highly dependent upon the shape of the PM2.5-mortality concentration-response (C-R) function. Recent evidence indicates that this C-R function may be supralinear across wide ranges of exposure, suggesting that incremental pollution abatement efforts may yield greater benefits in relatively clean areas than in highly polluted areas. This paper explores the role of the shape of the C-R function in evaluating and understanding the costs and health benefits of PM2.5 air pollution abatement.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)516-522
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of the Air and Waste Management Association
Volume65
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015

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atmospheric pollution
pollution
mortality risk
health
pollution abatement
policy
cost
aerodynamics
particulate matter
mortality

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Health benefits of air pollution abatement policy : Role of the shape of the concentration–response function. / Pope, C. Arden; Cropper, Maureen; Coggins, Jay; Cohen, Aaron.

In: Journal of the Air and Waste Management Association, Vol. 65, No. 5, 01.01.2015, p. 516-522.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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