Boldo, E. and Linares, Cristina and Aragonés, Nuria and Lumbreras Martin, Julio and Borge García, Rafael and Paz Martín, David de la and Pérez Gómez, Beatriz and Fernandez Navarro, P. and García-Pérez, Javier and Pollán, Marina and Ramis, Rebeca and Moreno, Teresa and Karanasiou, Angeliki and Lopez Abente, G.
Air quality modeling and mortality impact of fine particles reduction policies in Spain.
"Environmental Research", v. 128
Background: In recent years, Spain has implemented a number of air quality control measures that are expected to lead to a future reduction in fine particle concentrations and an ensuing positive impact on public health.
Objectives: We aimed to assess the impact on mortality attributable to a reduction in fine particle levels in Spain in 2014 in relation to the estimated level for 2007.
Methods: To estimate exposure, we constructed fine particle distribution models for Spain for 2007 (reference scenario) and 2014 (projected scenario) with a spatial resolution of 16x16 km2. In a second step, we used the concentration-response functions proposed by cohort studies carried out in Europe (European Study of Cohorts for Air Pollution Effects and Rome longitudinal cohort) and North America (American Cancer Society cohort, Harvard Six Cities study and Canadian national cohort) to calculate the number of attributable annual deaths corresponding to all causes, all non-accidental causes, ischemic heart disease and lung cancer among persons aged over 25 years (2005-2007 mortality rate data). We examined the effect of the Spanish demographic shift in our analysis using 2007 and 2012 population figures.
Results: Our model suggested that there would be a mean overall reduction in fine particle levels of 1mg/m3 by 2014. Taking into account 2007 population data, between 8 and 15 all-cause deaths per 100,000 population could be postponed annually by the expected reduction in fine particle levels. For specific subgroups, estimates varied from 10 to 30 deaths for all non-accidental causes, from 1 to 5 for lung cancer, and from 2 to 6 for ischemic heart disease. The expected burden of preventable mortality would be even higher in the future due to the Spanish population growth. Taking into account the population older than 30 years in 2012, the absolute mortality impact estimate would increase approximately by 18%.
Conclusions: Effective implementation of air quality measures in Spain, in a scenario with a short-term projection, would amount to an appreciable decline infine particle concentrations, and this, in turn, would lead to notable health-related benefits. Recent European cohort studies strengthen the evidence of an association between long-term exposure to fine particles and health effects, and could enhance the health impact quantification in Europe. Air quality models can contribute to improved assessment of air pollution health impact estimates, particularly in study areas without air pollution monitoring data.