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Avoidable mortality attributable to anthropogenic fine particulate matter (Pm2.5) in Australia


Hanigan, IC and Broome, RA and Chaston, TB and Cope, M and Dennekamp, M and Heyworth, JS and Heathcote, K and Horsley, JA and Jalaludin, B and Jegasothy, E and Johnston, FH and Knibbs, LD and Pereira, G and Vardoulakis, S and Hoorn, SV and Morgan, GG, Avoidable mortality attributable to anthropogenic fine particulate matter (Pm2.5) in Australia, International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 18, (1) pp. 1-9. ISSN 1661-7827 (2020) [Refereed Article]


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Copyright 2020 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (https://

DOI: doi:10.3390/ijerph18010254


Ambient fine particulate matter <2.5 m (PM2.5) air pollution increases premature mortality globally. Some PM2.5 is natural, but anthropogenic PM2.5 is comparatively avoidable. We determined the impact of long-term exposures to the anthropogenic PM component on mortality in Australia. PM2.5-attributable deaths were calculated for all Australian Statistical Area 2 (SA2; n = 2310) regions. All-cause death rates from Australian mortality and population databases were combined with annual anthropogenic PM2.5 exposures for the years 20062016. Relative risk estimates were derived from the literature. Population-weighted average PM2.5 concentrations were estimated in each SA2 using a satellite and land use regression model for Australia. PM2.5-attributable mortality was calculated using a health-impact assessment methodology with life tables and all-cause death rates. The changes in life expectancy (LE) from birth, years of life lost (YLL), and economic cost of lost life years were calculated using the 2019 value of a statistical life. Nationally, long-term populationweighted average total and anthropogenic PM2.5 concentrations were 6.5 g/m3 (min 1.2max 14.2) and 3.2 g/m3 (min 0max 9.5), respectively. Annually, anthropogenic PM2.5-pollution is associated with 2616 (95% confidence intervals 1712, 3455) deaths, corresponding to a 0.2-year (95% CI 0.14, 0.28) reduction in LE for children aged 04 years, 38,962 (95%CI 25,391, 51,669) YLL and an average annual economic burden of $6.2 billion (95%CI $4.0 billion, $8.1 billion). We conclude that the anthropogenic PM2.5-related costs of mortality in Australia are higher than community standards should allow, and reductions in emissions are recommended to achieve avoidable mortality.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:anthropogenic air pollution, premature deaths, avoidable mortality, burden of disease
Research Division:Health Sciences
Research Group:Public health
Research Field:Preventative health care
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Public health (excl. specific population health)
Objective Field:Health protection and disaster response
UTAS Author:Johnston, FH (Professor Fay Johnston)
ID Code:143665
Year Published:2020
Web of Science® Times Cited:9
Deposited By:Menzies Institute for Medical Research
Deposited On:2021-03-29
Last Modified:2022-08-25
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