Regional impact assessment of air quality improvement : The air quality lifecourse assessment tool (AQ-LAT) for the West Midlands combined authority (WMCA)

Hall, James and Zhong, Jian and Jowett, Sue and Mazzeo, Andrea and Thomas, G. Neil and Bryson, John R. and Dewar, Steve and Inglis, Nadia and Wolstencroft, Mark and Muller, Catherine and Bloss, William and Harrison, Roy and Bartington, Suzanne (2024) Regional impact assessment of air quality improvement : The air quality lifecourse assessment tool (AQ-LAT) for the West Midlands combined authority (WMCA). Environmental Pollution: 123871. ISSN 0269-7491 (In Press)

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Abstract

Poor air quality is the largest environmental health risk in England. In the West Midlands, UK, ∼2.9 million people are affected by air pollution with an average loss in life expectancy of up to 6 months. The 2021 Environment Act established a legal framework for local authorities in England to develop regional air quality plans, generating a policy need for predictive environmental impact assessment tools. In this context, we developed a novel Air Quality Lifecourse Assessment Tool (AQ-LAT) to estimate electoral ward-level impacts of PM2.5 and NO2 exposure on outcomes of interest to local authorities, namely morbidity (asthma, coronary heart disease (CHD), stroke, lung cancer), mortality, and associated healthcare costs. We apply the Tool to assess the health economic burden of air pollutant exposure and estimate benefits that would be generated by meeting WHO 2021 Global Air Quality Guidelines (AQGs) (annual average concentrations) for NO2 (10 μg/m3) and PM2.5 (5 μg/m3) in the West Midlands Combined Authority Area. All West Midlands residents live in areas which exceed WHO AQGs, with 2070 deaths, 2070 asthma diagnoses, 770 CHD diagnoses, 170 lung cancers and 650 strokes attributable to air pollution exposure annually. Reducing PM2.5 and NO2 concentrations to WHO AQGs would save 10,700 lives reducing regional mortality by 1.8%, gaining 92,000 quality-adjusted life years (QALYs), and preventing 20,500 asthma, 7400 CHD, 1400 lung cancer, and 5700 stroke diagnoses, with economic benefits of £3.2 billion over 20 years. Significantly, we estimate 30% of QALY gains relate to reduced disease burden. The AQ-LAT has major potential to be replicated across local authorities in England and applied to inform regional investment decisions.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Environmental Pollution
Uncontrolled Keywords:
/dk/atira/pure/subjectarea/asjc/2300/2310
Subjects:
?? pollutionhealth, toxicology and mutagenesistoxicology ??
ID Code:
219886
Deposited By:
Deposited On:
16 May 2024 13:35
Refereed?:
Yes
Published?:
In Press
Last Modified:
13 Jun 2024 02:11