Health Impact of Air Pollution from Shipping in the Baltic Sea: Effects of Different Spatial Resolutions in Sweden
School of Health Systems and Public Health, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Pretoria, Pretoria 0002, South Africa
Occupational and Environmental Medicine, School of Public Health and Community Medicine, Institute of Medicine, University of Gothenburg, Box 100, 405 30 Gothenburg, Sweden
Division for Climate Modelling and Air Pollution, Norwegian Meteorological Institute, NO 0313 Oslo, Norway
The Environmental Department, City of Gothenburg, PO Box 7012, 402 31 Gothenburg, Sweden
Air Quality Research, Finnish Meteorological Institute, PL 503, FI-00101 Helsinki, Finland
Department of Infection Diseases, Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, SE-405 30 Goteborg, Sweden
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(21), 7963; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17217963
Received: 7 September 2020 / Revised: 23 October 2020 / Accepted: 27 October 2020 / Published: 29 October 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health Impact Assessment)
In 2015, stricter regulations to reduce sulfur dioxide emissions and particulate air pollution from shipping were implemented in the Baltic Sea. We investigated the effects on population exposure to particles <2.5 µm (PM2.5) from shipping and estimated related morbidity and mortality in Sweden’s 21 counties at different spatial resolutions. We used a regional model to estimate exposure in Sweden and a city-scale model for Gothenburg. Effects of PM2.5 exposure on total mortality, ischemic heart disease, and stroke were estimated using exposure–response functions from the literature and combining them into disability-adjusted life years (DALYS). PM2.5 exposure from shipping in Gothenburg decreased by 7% (1.6 to 1.5 µg/m3) using the city-scale model, and 35% (0.5 to 0.3 µg/m3) using the regional model. Different population resolutions had no effects on population exposures. In the city-scale model, annual premature deaths due to shipping PM2.5 dropped from 97 with the high-sulfur scenario to 90 in the low-sulfur scenario, and in the regional model from 32 to 21. In Sweden, DALYs lost due to PM2.5 from Baltic Sea shipping decreased from approximately 5700 to 4200. In conclusion, sulfur emission restrictions for shipping had positive effects on health, but the model resolution affects estimations.