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Spatial and sector-specific contributions of emissions to ambient air pollution and mortality in European cities: a health impact assessment.

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Khomenko, Sasha 
Pisoni, Enrico 
Thunis, Philippe 
Bessagnet, Bertrand 
Cirach, Marta 


BACKGROUND: Ambient air pollution is a major risk to health and wellbeing in European cities. We aimed to estimate spatial and sector-specific contributions of emissions to ambient air pollution and evaluate the effects of source-specific reductions in pollutants on mortality in European cities to support targeted source-specific actions to address air pollution and promote population health. METHODS: We conducted a health impact assessment of data from 2015 for 857 European cities to estimate source contributions to annual PM2·5 and NO2 concentrations using the Screening for High Emission Reduction Potentials for Air quality tool. We evaluated contributions from transport, industry, energy, residential, agriculture, shipping, and aviation, other, natural, and external sources. For each city and sector, three spatial levels were considered: contributions from the same city, the rest of the country, and transboundary. Mortality effects were estimated for adult populations (ie, ≥20 years) following standard comparative risk assessment methods to calculate the annual mortality preventable on spatial and sector-specific reductions in PM2·5 and NO2. FINDINGS: We observed strong variability in spatial and sectoral contributions among European cities. For PM2·5, the main contributors to mortality were the residential (mean contribution of 22·7% [SD 10·2]) and agricultural (18·0% [7·7]) sectors, followed by industry (13·8% [6·0]), transport (13·5% [5·8]), energy (10·0% [6·4]), and shipping (5·5% [5·7]). For NO2, the main contributor to mortality was transport (48·5% [SD 15·2]), with additional contributions from industry (15·0% [10·8]), energy (14·7% [12·9]), residential (10·3% [5·0]), and shipping (9·7% [12·7]). The mean city contribution to its own air pollution mortality was 13·5% (SD 9·9) for PM2·5 and 34·4% (19·6) for NO2, and contribution increased among cities of largest area (22·3% [12·2] for PM2·5 and 52·2% [19·4] for NO2) and among European capitals (29·9% [12·5] for PM2·5 and 62·7% [14·7] for NO2). INTERPRETATION: We estimated source-specific air pollution health effects at the city level. Our results show strong variability, emphasising the need for local policies and coordinated actions that consider city-level specificities in source contributions. FUNDING: Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation, State Research Agency, Generalitat de Catalunya, Centro de Investigación Biomédica en red Epidemiología y Salud Pública, and Urban Burden of Disease Estimation for Policy Making 2023-2026 Horizon Europe project.



Adult, Humans, Health Impact Assessment, Cities, Nitrogen Dioxide, Air Pollution, Particulate Matter

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Lancet Public Health

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Elsevier BV
European Commission Horizon 2020 (H2020) ERC (817754)