Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss., 13, 7737-7766, 2013
© Author(s) 2013. This work is distributed
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Model calculated global, regional and megacity premature mortality due to air pollution
J. Lelieveld1,2, C. Barlas1, D. Giannadaki1, and A. Pozzer1,2
1The Cyprus Institute, Nicosia, Cyprus
2Max Planck Institute for Chemistry, Mainz, Germany

Abstract. Air pollution by fine particulate matter (PM2.5) and ozone (O3) has increased strongly with industrialization and urbanization. We estimated the premature mortality rates and the years of human life lost (YLL) caused by anthropogenic PM2.5 and O3 in 2005 for epidemiological regions defined by the World Health Organization. We carried out high-resolution global model calculations to resolve urban and industrial regions in greater detail compared to previous work. We applied a health impact function to estimate premature mortality for people of 30 yr and older, using parameters derived from epidemiological cohort studies. Our results suggest that especially in large countries with extensive suburban and rural populations, air pollution-induced mortality rates have previously been underestimated. We calculate a global respiratory mortality of about 773 thousand yr−1 (YLL ≈ 5.2 million yr−1), 186 thousand yr−1 by lung cancer (YLL ≈ 1.7 million yr−1) and 2.0 million yr−1 by cardiovascular disease (YLL ≈ 14.3 million yr−1). The global mean per capita mortality caused by air pollution is about 0.1 % yr−1. The highest premature mortality rates are found in the Southeast Asia and Western Pacific regions (about 25% and 46% of the global rate, respectively) where more than a dozen of the most highly polluted megacities are located.

Citation: Lelieveld, J., Barlas, C., Giannadaki, D., and Pozzer, A.: Model calculated global, regional and megacity premature mortality due to air pollution, Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss., 13, 7737-7766, doi:10.5194/acpd-13-7737-2013, 2013.
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