Evans, J; van Donkelaar, A; Martin, RV; Burnett, R; Rainham, DG; Birkett, NJ; Krewski, D (2013). Estimates of global mortality attributable to particulate air pollution using satellite imagery. ENVIRONMENTAL RESEARCH, 120, 33-42.
Background: Epidemiological studies of the health effects of air pollution have traditionally relied upon ground-monitoring stations to measure ambient concentrations. Satellite derived air pollution measures offer the advantage of providing global coverage. Objective: To undertake a global assessment of mortality associated with long-term exposure to fine particulate air pollution using remote sensing data. Methods: Global PM2.5 exposure levels were derived from the MODIS and MISR satellite instruments. Relative risks and attributable fractions of mortality were modeled using previously developed concentration-response functions for the association between PM2.5 and mortality. Results: The global fraction of adult mortality attributable to the anthropogenic component of PM2.5 (95% CI) was 8.0% (5.3-10.5) for cardiopulmonary disease, 12.8% (5.9-18.5) for lung cancer, and 9.4% (6.6-11.8) for ischemic heart disease. Conclusion: This study demonstrates the feasibility of using satellite derived pollution concentrations in assessing the population health impacts of air pollution at the global scale. This approach leads to global estimates of mortality attributable to PM2.5 that are greater than those based on fixed site ground-level measures of urban PM2.5, but more similar to estimates based on global chemical transport model simulations of anthropogenic PM2.5. (c) 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.