Global Effect Factors for Exposure to Fine Particulate Matter.

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McKone, Thomas E 
Tainio, Marko 

We evaluate fine particulate matter (PM2.5) exposure-response models to propose a consistent set of global effect factors for product and policy assessments across spatial scales and across urban and rural environments. Relationships among exposure concentrations and PM2.5-attributable health effects largely depend on location, population density, and mortality rates. Existing effect factors build mostly on an essentially linear exposure-response function with coefficients from the American Cancer Society study. In contrast, the Global Burden of Disease analysis offers a nonlinear integrated exposure-response (IER) model with coefficients derived from numerous epidemiological studies covering a wide range of exposure concentrations. We explore the IER, additionally provide a simplified regression as a function of PM2.5 level, mortality rates, and severity, and compare results with effect factors derived from the recently published global exposure mortality model (GEMM). Uncertainty in effect factors is dominated by the exposure-response shape, background mortality, and geographic variability. Our central IER-based effect factor estimates for different regions do not differ substantially from previous estimates. However, IER estimates exhibit significant variability between locations as well as between urban and rural environments, driven primarily by variability in PM2.5 concentrations and mortality rates. Using the IER as the basis for effect factors presents a consistent picture of global PM2.5-related effects for use in product and policy assessment frameworks.

Air Pollutants, Air Pollution, Particulate Matter
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Environ Sci Technol
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American Chemical Society (ACS)
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Medical Research Council (MR/K023187/1)
Environmental Protection Agency (R835873)
This work was supported by the Life Cycle Initiative hosted at UN Environment, and by the Centre for Diet and Activity Research (CEDAR), a UKCRC Public Health Research Centre of Excellence. Funding from the British Heart Foundation, Cancer Research UK, Economic and Social Research Council, Medical Research Council, the National Institute for Health Research, and the Wellcome Trust, under the auspices of the UK Clinical Research Collaboration, is gratefully acknowledged. The work was developed in part under Assistance Agreement No. R835873 awarded by the US Environmental Protection Agency. The views expressed in this document are those of the authors.