Modeled global effects of airborne desert dust on air quality and premature mortality 1The Cyprus Institute, P.O. Box 27456, 1645 Nicosia, Cyprus
27 Jan 2014
2Max Planck Institute for Chemistry, Hahn-Meitnerweg 1, 55128 Mainz, Germany
Received: 19 July 2013 – Published in Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss.: 11 September 2013 Abstract. Fine particulate matter is one of the most important factors contributing to
air pollution. Epidemiological studies have related increased levels of
atmospheric particulate matter to premature human mortality caused by
cardiopulmonary disease and lung cancer. However, a limited number of
investigations have focused on the contribution of airborne desert dust
particles. Here we assess the effects of dust particles with an aerodynamic
diameter smaller than 2.5 μm (DU2.5) on human mortality for
the year 2005. We used the EMAC atmospheric–chemistry general circulation
model at high resolution to simulate global atmospheric dust concentrations.
We applied a health impact function to estimate premature mortality for the
global population of 30 yr and older, using parameters from epidemiological
studies. We estimate a global cardiopulmonary mortality of about 402 000
in 2005. The associated years of life lost are about 3.47 million per year.
We estimate the global fraction of the cardiopulmonary deaths caused by
atmospheric desert dust to be about 1.8%, though in the 20 countries most
affected by dust this is much higher, about 15–50%. These countries are
primarily found in the so-called "dust belt" from North Africa across the
Middle East and South Asia to East Asia
Revised: 14 November 2013 – Accepted: 09 December 2013 – Published: 27 January 2014
Citation: Giannadaki, D., Pozzer, A., and Lelieveld, J.: Modeled global effects of airborne desert dust on air quality and premature mortality, Atmos. Chem. Phys., 14, 957-968, doi:10.5194/acp-14-957-2014, 2014.