The particulate matter 2.5 (PM2.5
) is a serious air-pollutant emission in China, which has caused serious risks to public health. To reduce the pollution and corresponding public mortality, this paper proposes a method by incorporating slacks-based data envelopment analysis (DEA) and an integrated exposure risk (IER) model. By identifying the relationship between the PM2.5
concentration and mortality, the potential PM2.5
concentration efficiency and mortality reduction were measured. The proposed method has been applied to China’s 243 cities in 2015. Some implications are achieved. (1) There are urban disparities in estimated results around China. The geographic distribution of urban mortality reduction is consistent with that of the PM2.5
concentration efficiency, but some inconsistency also exists. (2) The pollution reduction and public health improvement should be addressed among China’s cities, especially for those in northern coastal, eastern coastal, and middle Yellow River areas. The reduction experience of PM2.5
concentration in cities of the southern coastal area could be advocated in China. (3) Environmental consideration should be part of the production adjustment of urban central China. The updating of technology is suggested for specific cities and should be considered by the policymaker.
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