Intercontinental Impacts of Ozone Pollution on Human Mortality

Anenberg, S. C., J. J. West, A. M. Fiore, D. Jaffe, M. Prather, D. J. Bergmann, K. Cuvelier, F. J. Dentener, B. Duncan, M. Gauss, P. Hess, J. E. Jonson, A. Lupu, I. A. Mackenzie, E. Marmer, R. J. Park, M. G. Sanderson, M. Schultz, D. Shindell, S. Szopa, M. G. Vivanco, O. Wild, and G. Zeng (2009), Intercontinental Impacts of Ozone Pollution on Human Mortality, Environ. Sci. Technol., 43, 6482-6487.

Ozone exposure is associated with negative health impacts, including premature mortality. Observations and modeling studies demonstrate that emissions from one continent influence ozone air quality over other continents. We estimate the premature mortalities avoided from surface ozone decreases obtained via combined 20% reductions of anthropogenic nitrogen oxide, nonmethane volatile organic compound, and carbon monoxide emissions in North America (NA), East Asia (EA), South Asia (SA), and Europe (EU). We use estimates of ozone responses to these emission changes from several atmospheric chemical transport models combined with a health impact function. Foreign emission reductions contribute approximately 30%, 30%,
20%, and >50% of the mortalities avoided by reducing precursor emissions in all regions together in NA, EA, SA, and EU, respectively. Reducing emissions in NA and EU avoids more mortalities outside the source region than within, owing in part to larger populations in foreign regions. Lowering the global methane abundance by 20% reduces mortality most in SA, followed by EU, EA, and NA. For some source-receptor pairs, there is greater uncertainty in our estimated avoided mortalities associated with the modeled ozone responses to emission changes than with the health impact function parameters.

Research Program: 
Atmospheric Composition Modeling and Analysis Program (ACMAP)
Modeling Analysis and Prediction Program (MAP)