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Extreme air pollution events from bushfires and dust storms and their association with mortality in Sydney, Australia 1994-2007

Citation

Johnston, F and Hanigan, I and Henderson, S and Morgan, G and Bowman, D, Extreme air pollution events from bushfires and dust storms and their association with mortality in Sydney, Australia 1994-2007, Environmental Research: A Journal of Environmental Medicine and The Environmental Sciences, 111, (6) pp. 811-816. ISSN 0013-9351 (2011) [Refereed Article]


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Copyright © 2011. The definitive version is available at http://www.sciencedirect.com

DOI: doi:10.1016/j.envres.2011.05.007

Abstract

INTRODUCTION: Extreme air pollution events due to bushfire smoke and dust storms are expected to increase as a consequence of climate change, yet little has been published about their population health impacts. We examined the association between air pollution events and mortality in Sydney from 1997 to 2004. METHODS: Events were defined as days for which the 24h city-wide concentration of PM(10) exceeded the 99th percentile. All events were researched and categorised as being caused by either smoke or dust. We used a time-stratified case-crossover design with conditional logistic regression modelling adjusted for influenza epidemics, same day and lagged temperature and humidity. Reported odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals are for mortality on event days compared with non-event days. The contribution of elevated average temperatures to mortality during smoke events was explored. RESULTS: There were 52 event days, 48 attributable to bushfire smoke, six to dust and two affected by both. Smoke events were associated with a 5% increase in non-accidental mortality at a lag of 1 day OR (95% confidence interval (CI)) 1.05 (95%CI: 1.00-1.10). When same day temperature was removed from the model, additional same day associations were observed with non-accidental mortality OR 1.05 (95%CI: 1.00-1.09), and with cardiovascular mortality OR (95%CI) 1.10 (95%CI: 1.00-1.20). Dust events were associated with a 15% increase in non-accidental mortality at a lag of 3 days, OR (95%CI) 1.16 (95%CI: 1.03-1.30). CONCLUSIONS: The magnitude and temporal patterns of association with mortality were different for smoke and dust events. Public health advisories during bushfire smoke pollution episodes should include advice about hot weather in addition to air pollution.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:Air pollution, Particulate matter, Bushfire smoke, Dust, Mortality
Research Division:Environmental Sciences
Research Group:Environmental Science and Management
Research Field:Environmental Monitoring
Objective Division:Environment
Objective Group:Air Quality
Objective Field:Air Quality not elsewhere classified
Author:Johnston, F (Associate Professor Fay Johnston)
Author:Hanigan, I (Mr Ivan Hanigan)
Author:Henderson, S (Associate Professor Sarah Henderson)
Author:Bowman, D (Professor David Bowman)
ID Code:72267
Year Published:2011
Web of Science® Times Cited:83
Deposited By:Menzies Institute for Medical Research
Deposited On:2011-08-24
Last Modified:2012-03-22
Downloads:7 View Download Statistics

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