Emission Sector Impacts on Air Quality and Public Health in China From 2010 to 2020

Luke Conibear*, Carly L. Reddington, Ben J. Silver, Ying Chen, Stephen R. Arnold, Dominick V. Spracklen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Abstract

Abstract Anthropogenic emissions and ambient fine particulate matter (PM2.5) concentrations have declined in recent years across China. However, PM2.5 exposure remains high, ozone (O3) exposure is increasing, and the public health impacts are substantial. We used emulators to explore how emission changes (averaged per sector over all species) have contributed to changes in air quality and public health in China over 2010–2020. We show that PM2.5 exposure peaked in 2012 at 52.8 μg m−3, with contributions of 31% from industry and 22% from residential emissions. In 2020, PM2.5 exposure declined by 36% to 33.5 μg m−3, where the contributions from industry and residential sources reduced to 15% and 17%, respectively. The PM2.5 disease burden decreased by only 9% over 2012 where the contributions from industry and residential sources reduced to 15% and 17%, respectively 2020, partly due to an aging population with greater susceptibility to air pollution. Most of the reduction in PM2.5 exposure and associated public health benefits occurred due to reductions in industrial (58%) and residential (29%) emissions. Reducing national PM2.5 exposure below the World Health Organization Interim Target 2 (25 μg m−3) would require a further 80% reduction in residential and industrial emissions, highlighting the challenges that remain to improve air quality in China.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere2021GH000567
Number of pages13
JournalGeoHealth
Volume6
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 6 Jun 2022

Keywords

  • emulators
  • air quality
  • China
  • machine learning
  • health impact assessment
  • emissions

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