The research, by Duke University (USA) and the University of York (UK), estimates that 266,000 (confidence interval: 186,000-338,000) premature mortalities across Europe, the USA and China in 2015 were attributable to long-term exposure to ozone (O3). It publishes today in Environmental Research Letters. Karl Seltzer, from Duke University, is the study’s lead author. He said: “The there is strong epidemiological and toxicological evidence linking ambient ozone exposure to adverse health effects. “Historically, much of the previous research focussed on the short-term impacts. We utilized results from the growing body of evidence that links long-term O3 exposure and increased cause-specific premature mortalities, particularly from respiratory diseases.” To do this, the researchers used 2015 data from ground-based monitoring networks in the USA, Europe and China to estimate long-term O3 exposure. They then calculated premature mortalities using exposure-response relationships from two American Cancer Society (ACS) cancer prevention studies. Mr Seltzer said: “Global estimates of O3 exposure are often made using state-of-the-art chemical transport models (CTMs). However, we based our study on observed air quality data, because it has several advantages over CTM modelling approaches.” Interestingly, the team’s observationally-derived data shows smaller human-health impacts when compared to prior modelling results. Mr Seltzer explained: “This difference is due to small biases in modelled results. These small biases are subsequently amplified by non-linear exposure-response curves. This highlights the importance of accurately estimating long-term O3 exposure in health impact assessments. The overall findings from this study have important implications for policy makers and the public, for several reasons. “First, health impacts attributable to long-term O3 exposure are higher when using the newest ACS CPS-II cohort analysis. Plus, the impacts are expanded further if the association between long-term O3 exposure and cardiovascular mortality is indeed shown to be causal and included in the total health burden estimates. “Second, results from the newest ACS CPS-II cohort analysis suggest that O3 exposure should be considered year-round. This is particularly relevant for the three regions included in this analysis, where the seasonal cycle and regional distributions of O3 have shifted over the last few decades.” “Finally, these results also highlight the importance of accurately estimating O3 exposure and the consequences of high exposure bias in estimating impacts for health assessments.” ENDS Contact For further information or spokesperson contact details, please contact: Simon Davies, Senior PR Officer IOP Publishing. Email [email protected] Tel: +44 (0)1179301110 About Environmental Research Letters ERL covers all environmental science, providing a coherent and integrated approach including research articles, perspectives and reviews. The journal’s coverage reflects the increasingly interdisciplinary nature of environmental science and recognizes the wide range of contributions to the development of methods, tools and evaluation strategies relevant to the field. About IOP Publishing IOP Publishing provides publications through which leading-edge scientific research is distributed worldwide. IOP Publishing is central to the Institute of Physics, a not-for-profit society. Any financial surplus earned by IOP Publishing goes to support science through the activities of the Institute. Go to the website (link beow) or follow us @IOPPublishing. About the Institute of Physics The Institute of Physics is a leading scientific society. We are a charitable organisation with a worldwide membership of more than 50,000, working together to advance physics education, research and application. We engage with policymakers and the public to develop awareness and understanding of the value of physics and, through IOP Publishing, we are world leaders in professional scientific communications. Visit us at the website (link below). Follow IOP on Twitter via @PhysicsNews.
Long-term exposure to ozone has significant impacts on human health
Published: 11 Oct 2018
http://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/1748-9326/aae29d Research paper http://ioppublishing.org/ IOP Publishing http://www.iop.org/ Institute of Physics
The final version of ‘Measurement-based assessment of health burdens from long-term ozone exposure in the United States, Europe, and China’ by Karl M Seltzer et al (2018 Environ. Res. Lett. 13 104018) is freely available now at http://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/1748-9326/aae29d