Exposure to particulate matter and the related health impacts in major Estonian cities
2009 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
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.
Umeå University medical dissertations, ISSN 0346-6612 ; 1314
Particulate matter, traffic, health impact assessment, cardiopulmonary
Environmental Health and Occupational Health
Research subject Occupational and Environmental Medicine
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-29769ISBN: 978-91-7264-905-7OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-29769DiVA: diva2:277993
2009-12-15, Sal B, 1D NUS 9tr, Umeå University, 09:00 (English)
Grennfelt, Per-Inge, Prof
Forsberg, Bertil, DrMerisalu, Eda, DrKaasik, Marko, Dr
List of papers