Special Issue "Health Impact Assessment of Air Pollution"

A special issue of Atmosphere (ISSN 2073-4433). This special issue belongs to the section "Air Quality and Human Health".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 March 2020.

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Michal Krzyzanowski
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Environmental Research Group, King's College London, UK
Interests: evaluation of health effects of air pollution; risk assessment; international environmental and health policies

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The quantification of the burden of disease related to air pollution, as well as of the impacts of various pollution-related policies on health, has become more common and widespread in recent decades. It plays an increasing role in informing people on the risks posed by the exposure and in the definition of effective policies addressing the risks at global, regional, national, and local levels. Methods of health risk assessment, based on a growing body of epidemiological evidence, are developing quickly, and their application is facilitated by an increasing availability of health risk assessment tools and data.

This Special Issue will present novel methodological approaches to health risk assessment of ambient air pollution, include examples of the assessments performed in various populations and policy contexts, and address issues related to risk communication based on the performed assessments.

Dr. Michal Krzyzanowski
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Atmosphere is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1500 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
An Air Quality Health Index (AQHI) with Different Health Outcomes Based on the Air Pollution Concentrations in Stockholm during the Period of 2015–2017
Atmosphere 2020, 11(2), 192; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos11020192 - 12 Feb 2020
Abstract
The Air Quality Health Index (AQHI) is a tool that has been developed in order to address the health effects caused by simultaneous exposure to several different air pollutants. Short-term health effects in terms of mortality or morbidity are used in order to [...] Read more.
The Air Quality Health Index (AQHI) is a tool that has been developed in order to address the health effects caused by simultaneous exposure to several different air pollutants. Short-term health effects in terms of mortality or morbidity are used in order to construct an index. In this study, different indexes for different health outcomes, based on the concentrations of NO2, O3, and PM10 at an urban background measuring station in Stockholm during the period of 2015–2017, are calculated by using different risk-coefficients obtained from a meta-analysis. An AQHI based on local risk-coefficients for asthma emergency department visits (AEDV) in Stockholm is also included in the analysis. Correlation coefficients between different pairs of AQHIs, where the additive effects associated with exposure to NO2, O3, and PM10 during 2015–2017 are used, exhibit R-values as in 12 out of 15 cases exceed 0.80. However, the average risk increase for different AQHIs are very different, where indexes based on hospital admissions for asthma are larger than those based on mortality outcomes. An overall conclusion is that different AQHIs for different population groups are not needed, but the index may need to be weighted differently for different population groups. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health Impact Assessment of Air Pollution)

Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

1. Risk Functions for Estimating the Burden of Disease due to Air Pollution: Evolution and State-of-the-Art
Authors:
Richard T. Burnett, Population Studies Division, Health Canada; Aaron J Cohen, Health Effects Institute, Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation
Tentative Abstract:
The recent proliferation of cohort studies of long-term exposure to air pollution and mortality has led to a significant increase in knowledge about this important global health risk factor.  As scientific knowledge has grown, mortality relative risk estimators for fine particulate matter, PM2.5, have evolved from simple risk models based on a single study to complex, computationally intensive, integration of multiple independent particulate sources based on nearly one hundred studies.  Since its introduction nearly 10 years ago the Integrated Exposure-Response (IER) model has become the state-of-the art for such estimates, now used by the Global Burden of Disease  Collaboration, World Health Organization, the World Bank, United States Environmental Protection Agency’s benefits assessment software and scientists worldwide to estimate the burden of disease and examine strategies to improve air quality  at global, national and sub-national scales for ambient air pollution, second hand smoke and household pollution from heating and cooking.  With each yearly update of the GBD estimates the IER continues to evolve, changing with the incorporation of new data and fitting methods. And as the number of ambient air pollution cohort studies has grown, including recent estimates at high-levels of ambient PM2.5 pollution in China, new estimators based solely on ambient air pollution evidence have been proposed which require fewer assumptions than the IER and yield larger ambient PM2.5 relative risk estimates.  This paper will discuss the scientific and technical issues analysts should consider regarding the use of these methods to estimate the burden of disease attributable to air pollution in their own settings.

2. Health impact assessment of nitrogen dioxide – an illustration of the need to understand underlying epidemiological and exposure assessment issues
Authors: 
Heather Walton, Alison Gowers, Fintan Hurley, Roy Harrison, David Dajnak, and Dimitris Evangelopoulos
Tentative Abstract: This paper discusses how deep understanding of epidemiology and exposure assessment methods is needed for a high-quality health impact assessment.
The concentration-response function for long-term exposure to nitrogen dioxide and mortality represents both nitrogen dioxide itself and other traffic pollutants.  It also acts as a proxy for the health effects of personal exposures differently for different scales of concentration-modelling.  We report how these methodological challenges have been addressed by the Committee on the Medical Effects of Air Pollutants in assessing health impacts of nitrogen dioxide in the UK and in other projects on health impacts in London and elsewhere.

3. Assessing the global and regional impacts of maritime shipping on air quality and health: review and implications of alternative health impact functions
Authors:
Allison Patton, Cong Liu, Yan Zhang, and Katherine Walker
Tentative Abstract:
Since 2001, there have been over 29 assessments of the potential impacts of the maritime shipping industry on air quality and health at local, regional and global scales. Global studies have been influential in supporting local and international agreements to reduce emissions from this sector. More recently, local health impact assessments are becoming more influential as their numbers increase. At the same time, health impact assessments of maritime shipping vary substantially in both the key assumptions underlying the analyses and their estimates of impacts on air quality and health. In particular, there is little agreement in how air pollution exposures are determined and the health impact functions are chosen to estimate the impacts of these emissions on health. This review will examine the basis for these choices, their implications for the analyses and their interpretation, and make recommendations for the future. It is intended for the research community not familiar with the epidemiologic literature.

4. Health impacts of air pollution while doing physical activity: a methodological approach
Authors:
Rojas-Rueda D, de Nazelle A, and Nieuwenhuijsen M.
Tentative Abstract:
Physical activity has been associated with multiple health benefits, such as reduced mortality and disease incidence, improvements in disease management, and prognosis. Public health interventions supporting physical activity are a standard tool for health promotion and prevention. However, promoting physical activity in air polluted environments could reduce or even eliminate the health benefits of physical activity. This paper will describe the quantitative health impact assessment approach to estimate the health impacts of air pollution during physical activity with attention to hazard identification, exposure assessment, dose-response assessment, and risk characterization. The paper will also highlight strengths, and weaknesses of the current approaches, providing policy and research recommendations.

5. Quantifying the Public Health Benefits of Reducing Air Pollution: Critically Assessing the Features and Capabilities of WHO’s AirQ+ and U.S. EPA’s Environmental Benefits Mapping and Analysis Program – Community Edition (BenMAP – CE)
Authors:
Pierpaolo Mudu, Sophie Gumy, Ingu Kim, Giulia Ruggeri, Neal Fann, and Jason Sacks
Tentative Abstract:
The World Health Organization and the U.S. Environmental Protection each deploy software packages designed to quantify the number and economic value of air pollution-attributable premature deaths and illnesses. WHO’s AirQ+ and U.S. EPA’s Environmental Benefits Mapping and Analysis Program – Community Edition (BenMAP – CE) are among the most popular tools to quantify these effects; each supported hundreds of peer-reviewed publications and technical reports over the past two decades. We compare AirQ+ and BenMAP – CE using common input parameters, detailing the questions each is best able to address.  

6. Investigation of differences in urban PM Island and health exposure risk between China and US megalopolises: Evidence from remote-sensing data
Authors:
Shisong Cao, Ziqiang Peng, Mingyi Du, Wenji Zhao, and Xinchuan Yang
Tentative Abstract:
Remote sensing (RS) and geographical information system (GIS) are appropriate techniques to carry out large area inter-country surveying of urban particulate matter island (UPI) effect as well as the analysis of the risk of exposure to PM2.5. UPI is an urban area or a metropolitan area with higher particulate matter concentrations than surrounding areas because of local human activities and geographical environment. Some scholars have found the UPI effect in metropolitan areas; however, more in-depth analyses would be required to identify the differences in the UPI effect and in the risk of exposure to PM2.5 between the developed and developing countries. This study reveals the effect of UPI and analyzes the risk of exposure to PM2.5 in the developments of the US and China urban agglomerations from 2000 to 2015 using RS and GIS techniques. We selected six typical urban agglomerations in different urban development stages, i.e., Boston – Washington (BW), Chicago – Pittsburgh (CP), and San Diego – San Francisco (SS) from the US; as well as Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei (BTH), Yangtze River Delta (YRD), and Pearl River Delta (PRD) from China, for study. First, the spatial and temporal differences in the UPI among those urban agglomerations and the impact of urbanization on the UPI were systematically investigated. Further, we analyzed the differences in exposure risks of PM2.5 from two different levels, i.e., urban agglomeration and city; as well as their spatial trends among the six selected urban agglomerations. We believe that this work can deepen the understandings of the spatial and temporal distribution of UPI in different urban development stages and their exposure risk to PM2.5, as well as provide a reference for urban agglomeration planning in developing countries, such as China.

7. Health impacts of air pollution associated with staff, patient and visitor travel at a tertiary hospital
Authors:
Suzanne Bartington, Phillippa Hentsch, William Bloss, and Jessica Britton
Tentative Abstract:
Travel and transport linked to Health and Social Care services in England generate a significant share of road traffic; currently estimated at around 5%, producing air and noise pollution, carbon dioxide emissions and road traffic accidents. The Health Outcomes of Travel Tool (HOTT) developed by the NHS Sustainable Development Unit helps NHS organisations quantify these impacts arising from different travel sources, therefore enabling formation of a mitigation plan. This study reports findings of the HOTT analyses undertaken across University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust (UHB), one of the largest teaching hospitals in England, serving a regional, national and international population to obtain baseline estimates of total emissions and the impacts of proposed future scenarios (such as reduction in outpatient travel, removal of diesel vehicles from staff fleet) . We estimate the associated health impacts arising from Trust related transport activity through air pollutant exposure and contribution to carbon emissions and the predicted benefits for future scenarios compared to business-as-usual.  We consider the strengths and limitations of this approach and gaps in routine NHS data availability with regard to quantifying different transport associated pollutant emissions sources (such as patient, visitor and staff travel); therefore providing recommendations for methodological adaptations to meet the needs of health stakeholders.

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