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Avoidable mortality attributable to anthropogenic fine particulate matter (Pm2.5) in Australia


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Hanigan, IC, Broome, RA, Chaston, TB, Cope, M, Dennekamp, M, Heyworth, JS, Heathcote, K, Horsley, JA, Jalaludin, B, Jegasothy, E, Johnston, FH ORCID: 0000-0002-5150-8678, Knibbs, LD, Pereira, G, Vardoulakis, S, Hoorn, SV and Morgan, GG 2021 , 'Avoidable mortality attributable to anthropogenic fine particulate matter (Pm2.5) in Australia' , International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, vol. 18, no. 1 , pp. 1-9 , doi: 10.3390/ijerph18010254.

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Ambient fine particulate matter 2.5) air pollution increases premature mortalityglobally. Some PM2.5 is natural, but anthropogenic PM2.5 is comparatively avoidable. We determinedthe impact of long-term exposures to the anthropogenic PM component on mortality in Australia.PM2.5-attributable deaths were calculated for all Australian Statistical Area 2 (SA2; n = 2310) regions.All-cause death rates from Australian mortality and population databases were combined withannual anthropogenic PM2.5 exposures for the years 2006–2016. Relative risk estimates were derivedfrom the literature. Population-weighted average PM2.5 concentrations were estimated in eachSA2 using a satellite and land use regression model for Australia. PM2.5-attributable mortality wascalculated using a health-impact assessment methodology with life tables and all-cause death rates.The changes in life expectancy (LE) from birth, years of life lost (YLL), and economic cost of lostlife years were calculated using the 2019 value of a statistical life. Nationally, long-term populationweighted average total and anthropogenic PM2.5 concentrations were 6.5 µg/m3(min 1.2–max 14.2)and 3.2 µg/m3(min 0–max 9.5), respectively. Annually, anthropogenic PM2.5-pollution is associatedwith 2616 (95% confidence intervals 1712, 3455) deaths, corresponding to a 0.2-year (95% CI 0.14, 0.28)reduction in LE for children aged 0–4 years, 38,962 (95%CI 25,391, 51,669) YLL and an average annualeconomic burden of $6.2 billion (95%CI $4.0 billion, $8.1 billion). We conclude that the anthropogenicPM2.5-related costs of mortality in Australia are higher than community standards should allow,and reductions in emissions are recommended to achieve avoidable mortality.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Hanigan, IC and Broome, RA and Chaston, TB and Cope, M and Dennekamp, M and Heyworth, JS and Heathcote, K and Horsley, JA and Jalaludin, B and Jegasothy, E and Johnston, FH and Knibbs, LD and Pereira, G and Vardoulakis, S and Hoorn, SV and Morgan, GG
Keywords: anthropogenic air pollution, premature deaths, avoidable mortality, burden of disease
Journal or Publication Title: International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Publisher: MDPI
ISSN: 1661-7827
DOI / ID Number: 10.3390/ijerph18010254
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Copyright 2020 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (

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