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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(1), 61; doi:10.3390/ijerph13010061

Rapid Assessment of Environmental Health Impacts for Policy Support: The Example of Road Transport in New Zealand

1,* , 2,†
and
2,†
1
Emeritus Professor, Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Imperial College London, London W2 1PG, UK
2
Centre for Public Health Research, Massey University, Wellington 6140, New Zealand
These authors contributed equally to this work.
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Wim Passchier and Luc Hens
Received: 5 October 2015 / Revised: 30 November 2015 / Accepted: 16 December 2015 / Published: 22 December 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cumulative and Integrated Health Impact Assessment)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [760 KB, uploaded 22 December 2015]   |  

Abstract

An integrated environmental health impact assessment of road transport in New Zealand was carried out, using a rapid assessment. The disease and injury burden was assessed from traffic-related accidents, air pollution, noise and physical (in)activity, and impacts attributed back to modal source. In total, road transport was found to be responsible for 650 deaths in 2012 (2.1% of annual mortality): 308 from traffic accidents, 283 as a result of air pollution, and 59 from noise. Together with morbidity, these represent a total burden of disease of 26,610 disability-adjusted life years (DALYs). An estimated 40 deaths and 1874 DALYs were avoided through active transport. Cars are responsible for about 52% of attributable deaths, but heavy goods vehicles (6% of vehicle kilometres travelled, vkt) accounted for 21% of deaths. Motorcycles (1 per cent of vkt) are implicated in nearly 8% of deaths. Overall, impacts of traffic-related air pollution and noise are low compared to other developed countries, but road accident rates are high. Results highlight the need for policies targeted at road accidents, and especially at heavy goods vehicles and motorcycles, along with more general action to reduce the reliance on private road transport. The study also provides a framework for national indicator development. View Full-Text
Keywords: health impact assessment; road transport; New Zealand; environmental burden of disease; road accidents; air pollution; traffic noise; physical activity health impact assessment; road transport; New Zealand; environmental burden of disease; road accidents; air pollution; traffic noise; physical activity
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Briggs, D.; Mason, K.; Borman, B. Rapid Assessment of Environmental Health Impacts for Policy Support: The Example of Road Transport in New Zealand. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13, 61.

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