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Archive for April, 2017

Global burden of disease – the air pollution contribution

Exposure to ambient air pollution increases morbidity and mortality, and is a leading contributor to global disease burden. This study explored spatial and temporal trends in mortality and burden of disease attributable to ambient air pollution from 1990 to 2015 at global, regional, and country levels.

The study found that ambient PM2·5 was the fifth-ranking mortality risk factor in 2015.

Exposure to PM2·5 in 2015 caused 4·2 million deaths (95% uncertainty interval (UI) 3.7-4.8 million), representing 7·6% of total global deaths, 59% of these in east and south Asia. This was a substantial increase from an estimated 3·5 million deaths attributable to exposure to ambient PM2.5 in 1990 (95% UI 3.0-4.0 million). The increase is due to population ageing, changes in non-communicable disease rates, and increasing air pollution in low-income and middle-income countries.

[Source: The Lancet, 10 April 2017]

SOx, NOx and rocks Ecological Criteria ISA now public

The first external review draft of the United States Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) Integrated Science Assessment for Oxides of Nitrogen, Oxides of Sulfur and Particulate Matter – Ecological Criteria is now public.

This integrated science assessment provides a comprehensive evaluation and synthesis of the most policy-relevant science aimed at characterising the ecological effects caused by these criteria pollutants. These criteria pollutants are reviewed here together because they all contribute to nitrogen (N) and sulfur (S) deposition, which causes substantial ecological effects.

Thus, this integrated science assessment serves as the scientific foundation for the review of the ecological effects associated with the secondary (welfare-based, US) national ambient air quality standards for oxides of nitrogen, oxides of sulfur, and particulate matter. The health effects of these criteria pollutants are considered in separate assessments as part of the review of the primary (health-based) national ambient air quality standards for oxides of nitrogen (US EPA, 2016b) oxides of sulfur (US EPA, 2016a), and particulate matter (US EPA, 2009a).

It includes scientific research from atmospheric sciences, exposure and deposition, biogeochemistry, hydrology, soil science, marine science, plant physiology, animal physiology, and ecology conducted at multiple scales (e.g., population, community, ecosystem, landscape levels).