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Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Volume 18, issue 20
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 18, 15003-15016, 2018
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-18-15003-2018
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 18, 15003-15016, 2018
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-18-15003-2018
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 19 Oct 2018

Research article | 19 Oct 2018

Long-term trends in the ambient PM2.5- and O3-related mortality burdens in the United States under emission reductions from 1990 to 2010

Yuqiang Zhang1,a, J. Jason West2, Rohit Mathur3, Jia Xing4, Christian Hogrefe3, Shawn J. Roselle3, Jesse O. Bash3, Jonathan E. Pleim3, Chuen-Meei Gan5, and David C. Wong3 Yuqiang Zhang et al.
  • 1Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE) Fellowship Participant at US Environmental Protection Agency, Research Triangle Park, NC 27711, USA
  • 2Department of Environmental Sciences and Engineering, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC 27599, USA
  • 3Computational Exposure Division, National Exposure Research Laboratory, Office of Research and Development, US Environmental Protection Agency, Research Triangle Park, NC 27711, USA
  • 4State Key Joint Laboratory of Environmental Simulation and Pollution Control, School of Environment, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, China
  • 5CSC Government Solutions LLC, A CSRA Company, Research Triangle Park, NC 27709, USA
  • anow at: Nicholas School of the Environment, Duke University, Durham, NC 27710, USA

Abstract. Concentrations of both fine particulate matter (PM2.5) and ozone (O3) in the United States (US) have decreased significantly since 1990, mainly because of air quality regulations. Exposure to these air pollutants is associated with premature death. Here we quantify the annual mortality burdens from PM2.5 and O3 in the US from 1990 to 2010, estimate trends and inter-annual variability, and evaluate the contributions to those trends from changes in pollutant concentrations, population, and baseline mortality rates. We use a fine-resolution (36km) self-consistent 21-year simulation of air pollutant concentrations in the US from 1990 to 2010, a health impact function, and annual county-level population and baseline mortality rate estimates. From 1990 to 2010, the modeled population-weighted annual PM2.5 decreased by 39%, and summertime (April to September) 1h average daily maximum O3 decreased by 9% from 1990 to 2010. The PM2.5-related mortality burden from ischemic heart disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, lung cancer, and stroke steadily decreased by 54% from 123700deathsyear−1 (95% confidence interval, 70800–178100) in 1990 to 58600deathsyear−1 (24900–98500) in 2010. The PM2.5-related mortality burden would have decreased by only 24% from 1990 to 2010 if the PM2.5 concentrations had stayed at the 1990 level, due to decreases in baseline mortality rates for major diseases affected by PM2.5. The mortality burden associated with O3 from chronic respiratory disease increased by 13% from 10900deathsyear−1 (3700–17500) in 1990 to 12300deathsyear−1 (4100–19800) in 2010, mainly caused by increases in the baseline mortality rates and population, despite decreases in O3 concentration. The O3-related mortality burden would have increased by 55% from 1990 to 2010 if the O3 concentrations had stayed at the 1990 level. The detrended annual O3 mortality burden has larger inter-annual variability (coefficient of variation of 12%) than the PM2.5-related burden (4%), mainly from the inter-annual variation of O3 concentration. We conclude that air quality improvements have significantly decreased the mortality burden, avoiding roughly 35800 (38%) PM2.5-related deaths and 4600 (27%) O3-related deaths in 2010, compared to the case if air quality had stayed at 1990 levels (at 2010 baseline mortality rates and population).

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Here we use a fine-resolution (36 km) self-consistent 21-year air quality simulation from 1990 to 2010, a health impact function, and annual county-level population and baseline mortality rate estimates to estimate annual mortality burdens from PM2.5 and O3 in the US, and also the contributions to the trends. We found that the PM2.5-related mortality burden has steadily decreased by 53 %, while the O3-related mortality burden has increased by 13 %, with larger inter-annual variabilities.
Here we use a fine-resolution (36 km) self-consistent 21-year air quality simulation from 1990...
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