2013 is the Year of Air in the European Union!
To support this, the World Health Organisation has prepared a comprehensive review of the science of air pollution to respond to 24 policy questions posed by the EU.
The review is a substantial update of the 2005 WHO Global Air Quality Guidelines, which only incorporated scientific research published before the end of 2004, and is based on a considerable amount of new scientific information. This new evidence supports the scientific conclusions of the 2005 WHO Global Air Quality Guidelines and indicates that in some cases adverse effects occur at concentrations lower the guidelines [our emphasis added].
Specifically, the review provides significant additional support for previous conclusions regarding causality on the association between particulate matter and mortality and morbidity. It presents new insights into physiological effects and plausible biological mechanisms linking short and long-term exposure of various pollutants with mortality and morbidity. It further discusses new health outcomes linked to long-term exposure to PM2.5.
Overall, the review provides robust scientific arguments for taking decisive actions to improve air quality and to reduce the burden of disease associated with air pollution.
The Ministry of Health commissioned Louise to summarise and present the review to the Health Protection Forum on 13 November 2013 in Wellington. The Ministry has kindly agreed to make her summary report, which conveniently condenses the 300 page full technical report into an 18 page summary, available to all interested parties here: