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Rapid rise in premature mortality due to anthropogenic air pollution in fast-growing tropical cities from 2005 to 2018

Vohra, Karn; Marais, Eloise; Bloss, William J; Schwartz, Joel; Mickley, Loretta J; Van Damme, Martin; Clarisse, Lieven; (2022) Rapid rise in premature mortality due to anthropogenic air pollution in fast-growing tropical cities from 2005 to 2018. Science Advances , 8 (14) , Article eabm4435. 10.1126/sciadv.abm4435. Green open access

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Abstract

Tropical cities are experiencing rapid growth but lack routine air pollution monitoring to develop prescient air quality policies. Here, we conduct targeted sampling of recent (2000s to 2010s) observations of air pollutants from space-based instruments over 46 fast-growing tropical cities. We quantify significant annual increases in nitrogen dioxide (NO2) (1 to 14%), ammonia (2 to 12%), and reactive volatile organic compounds (1 to 11%) in most cities, driven almost exclusively by emerging anthropogenic sources rather than traditional biomass burning. We estimate annual increases in urban population exposure to air pollutants of 1 to 18% for fine particles (PM2.5) and 2 to 23% for NO2 from 2005 to 2018 and attribute 180,000 (95% confidence interval: −230,000 to 590,000) additional premature deaths in 2018 (62% increase relative to 2005) to this increase in exposure. These cities are predicted to reach populations of up to 80 million people by 2100, so regulatory action targeting emerging anthropogenic sources is urgently needed.

Type: Article
Title: Rapid rise in premature mortality due to anthropogenic air pollution in fast-growing tropical cities from 2005 to 2018
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.abm4435
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1126/sciadv.abm4435
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © 2022 The Authors, some rights reserved; exclusive licensee American Association for the Advancement of Science. No claim to original U.S.Government Works. Distributed under a Creative Commons Attribution License 4.0 (CC BY).
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Dept of Geography
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10143560
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