Since 1997, more than 30 health-risk analyses were conducted using Russian data sets. These studies demonstrated that air pollution is the most important environmental contributor toward morbidity and mortality risk in Russia, with 90% of the total human health risk coming from the criteria pollutants total suspended particulate (TSP), SO2, and NO(x). This article contributes to the ongoing discussion of the magnitude of this health issue in Russia by providing an estimate of both the mortality rate attributed to airborne pollutants and the associated economic damages. The 90% confidence interval of mortality is 46,000-132,000, and the associated economic damages are between 2.6 and 6.5% of gross domestic product (GDP). The largest source of uncertainty in mortality is the concentration-response parameter, accounting for 50-60% of the total variability in the estimate. The point estimate of 87,000 implies that mortality due to airborne pollutants is threefold higher than reported due to tuberculosis, twofold due to transportation accidents, and about the same as that from suicide and homicide combined. By 2002 there was enough evidence regarding potential health hazard and air pollution exposure in Russia to start environmental management reform. In 2004 Russia officially adopted guidelines for health risk analysis associated with air pollution. The next step is to use this health-risk assessment approach as a lead for sensible reforms of the emissions-permit system and environmental finance.
Air pollution has been estimated to be one of the leading environmental health risks in Finland. National health impact estimates existing to date have focused on particles (PM) and ozone (O3). In this work, we quantify the impacts of particles, ozone, and nitrogen dioxide (NO2) in 2015, and analyze the related uncertainties. The exposures were estimated with a high spatial resolution chemical transport model, and adjusted to observed concentrations. We calculated the health impacts according to Word Health Organization (WHO) working group recommendations. According to our results, ambient air pollution caused a burden of 34,800 disability-adjusted life years (DALY). Fine particles were the main contributor (74%) to the disease burden, which is in line with the earlier studies. The attributable burden was dominated by mortality (32,900 years of life lost (YLL); 95%). Impacts differed between population age groups. The burden was clearly higher in the adult population over 30 years (98%), due to the dominant role of mortality impacts. Uncertainties due to the concentration-response functions were larger than those related to exposures.
The control of transboundary air pollution in Europe has been successful. Emissions of many key pollutants are decreasing and there are signs of improvements in damaged ecosystems. The strategies under development within the CAFE programme under the European Commission and the Convention on Long-range Transboundary Air Pollution (CLRTAP), aim to take regional air pollution control a large step further, in particular with respect to small particles. In this paper we highlight the new strategies but look primarily at socioeconomic trends and climate change feedbacks that may have a significant influence on the outcome of the strategies and which so far have not been considered. In particular, we point out the influence on air quality of increased summer temperatures in Europe and of increasing emissions including international shipping, outside of Europe. Taken together the further emissions reductions in Europe and the increasing background pollution, slowly cause a greying of the Northern Hemisphere troposphere rather than the traditional picture of dominant emissions in Europe and North America ('black') with much lower emission intensities elsewhere ('white'). A hemispheric approach to further combat air pollution will become necessary in Europe and elsewhere.
Report of an expert panel to review the socio-economic models and related components supporting the development of Canada-Wide Standards (CWS) for particulate matter (PM) and ozone to the Royal Society of Canada.