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Health impact assess­ment in case of peat: co-use of environmental scenarios and exposure-response functions
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Occupational and Environmental Medicine.
Institute of Physics, University of Tartu.
Department of Public Health, University of Tartu.
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Occupational and Environmental Medicine.
2009 (English)In: Biomass and Bioenergy, ISSN 0961-9534, E-ISSN 1873-2909, Vol. 33, no 8, 1080-1086 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Peat will be used more widely for heating in Tartu (Estonia), therefore the potential health effects needed to be assessed. In transition from today's gas heating to burning of peat, the amount of exhaust gases emitted will increase and more than 100 000 people will be exposed to greater health risks. Based on the peat quality data, the emissions were calculated and their dispersion in Tartu was modelled using the air pollution dispersion and deposition model AEROPOL. The AirQ software, developed by the WHO, was used for calculating the health impacts. The number of years of life lost (YLL) due to the emissions from peat burning was estimated to be up to 55.5 in a year within the population of Tartu (101 000 citizens). However, in perspective, this would be about 28 times less than YLL calculated due to emissions from traffic, local heating etc.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2009. Vol. 33, no 8, 1080-1086 p.
Keyword [en]
Peat, biomass, air pollution, particulate matter, health impact assessment, modelling
National Category
Environmental Health and Occupational Health
Research subject
Occupational and Environmental Medicine
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-29767OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-29767DiVA: diva2:277983
Available from: 2009-11-23 Created: 2009-11-23 Last updated: 2017-12-12Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Exposure to particulate matter and the related health impacts in major Estonian cities
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Exposure to particulate matter and the related health impacts in major Estonian cities
2009 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Particulate matter (PM) is one of the most studied and problematic pollutants due to its toxicity and relati­vely high concentrations. This thesis aims to clarify the main sources and exposures of PM in Tallinn and Tartu, study the associations with health effects, and estimate the extent of those effects with health impact assessment (HIA).

It appeared that the main sources of particulate air pollution in Tallinn (the capital of Estonia) and Tartu (the second largest city of Estonia) are local heating and traffic, inclu­ding road dust. In addition to local emissions, particulate levels are affected by transboundary pollution. If the transboundary air masses originated from the Eastern European areas, the concentration as well as the oxidative capacity of fine particles was significantly higher in urban background air in Tartu compared to air masses coming from Scandinavian areas (Paper I).

During the last 15 years, traffic increase has been very fast in Tartu. However, due to the improvement in vehicle technology during this period, there has been only a slight increase in concentration of exhaust particles (Paper II). Nevertheless, a greater increase in road dust emissions was detected.

A statistically significant relationship between long-term exposure to those traffic induced par­tic­les and cardiac disease in the RHINE (Respiratory Health in Northern Europe) Tartu cohort was shown (Paper III). However, no significant associations with respira­tory health were found.

The HIA in Tallinn demonstrated 296 (95% CI = 76–528) premature deaths annually, because of PM (Paper IV). The average decrease in life expectancy was predicted to be 0.64 (95% CI 0.17–1.10) years. However, among risk groups it can be higher. In addi­tion, several cardiovascular hospitalizations are related. The costs to society be­cause of health effects reach up to €150 million annually (95% CI = 40–260) from pre­mature deaths and hospitali­zation constitute an additional €0.3 million (95% CI = 0.2–0.4).

The special HIA scenario, when more pollution fuel peat will be used in boiler houses was analysed as well (Paper V). It indicated that peat bur­ning would result in up to 55.5 YLL per year within the population of Tartu. However, the health effects of pollution from current traffic, local heating, and industry are at least 28 times bigger.

In conclusion, exposure to PM cause considerable health effects in the form of cardio­pulmo­nary diseases in main Estonian cities.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Umeå University, 2009. 68 p.
Series
Umeå University medical dissertations, ISSN 0346-6612 ; 1314
Keyword
Particulate matter, traffic, health impact assessment, cardiopulmonary
National Category
Environmental Health and Occupational Health
Research subject
Occupational and Environmental Medicine
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-29769 (URN)978-91-7264-905-7 (ISBN)
External cooperation:
Public defence
2009-12-15, Sal B, 1D NUS 9tr, Umeå University, 09:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2009-11-26 Created: 2009-11-23 Last updated: 2016-09-01Bibliographically approved

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