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Patrick Goodman, Dublin Technical University, Ireland
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  • For example, in the 1980s I moved to the Provo/Orem area of Utah. This metro area is situated in a mountain valley. Temperature inversions often trap air pollution near the valley floor which serves as a natural test chamber for pollution exposure. Furthermore, in the 1980s the largest local source of air pollution, the Geneva Steel Mill, shut down for 13-months and then reopened, providing a novel natural experiment.
  • On days without an inversion, like the one in this photo, the air in Utah Valley is very clean. However, as illustrated in this photo on the right, when inversions trap local air pollution, air quality can get very bad—but not as bad as the killer smog episodes of Meuse Valley, Donora, or London. If you look closely, you can see “thermal bubbles” on the top of the inversion layer above smoke stacks of the steel mill.
  • The intermittent operation of the steel mill provided a natural experiment, where the primary source of pollution in our natural exposure chamber was shut off for 13 months and then turned back on. We used this opportunity to study pollution effects on children’s respiratory hospitalizations. The operation of the mill clearly contributed to elevated levels of air pollution and pediatric hospital admissions for bronchitis, asthma, and total respiratory conditions were approximately doubled.


  • 1. Newgrange
  • 2. Lessons from reducing airpollution, it can be done and itworks!Prof.Pat GoodmanEurope day 13thJune 2013Helsinkipat.goodman@dit.ie
  • 3. Talk structure Sources of air pollution Air pollution and health Examples of reducing air pollution andhealth benefits WHO work Conclusions
  • 4. Where does air pollution comefrom? Most of the harmful pollution, the veryfine particles come from combustionprocess; Namely burning such as coal, oil wood And engine emissions, especially diesel Can also have industrial sources
  • 5. Modern understanding of airpollutionLondon 1952
  • 6. Dublin SMOG 1982Dublin 1982 Case Fatality RatesKelly and Clancy, Irish Medical Journal; 77:10: 322-324. 1984CFR2345678910Jan 80 Jan 81 Jan 82 Jan 83Date
  • 7. Daytime in Dublin Jan. 1982
  • 8. Dublin space heating 1980s The main source of particulate pollutionwas the burning of coal in open grates Space heating for homes was 100% solid fuel for social housing 80% for private housing (partially supported by Government grantsto reduce the dependence on imported oil)
  • 9. Dublin Coal ban 30thSept 1990 Banned the marketing, sale anddistribution of smoky coal in greaterDublin
  • 10. Dublin Black Smoke020406080100120140F1984F1985F1986F1987F1988F1989F1990F1991F1992F1993F1994F1995F1996µg/m3Ban on Coal Sales
  • 11. Effect of Air Pollution Control onMortality in DublinClancy et al, Lancet• Effect of ban on sale ofcoal on air pollution inDublin– 36 µg/m3 BS (-71%)– 11 µg/m3 SO2 (-34%)• Effect on mortality– 7% Total Mortality– 13% Cardiovascular– 16% Respiratory– 3% Other
  • 12. JAWMA 2009 extensions ofthe Irish coal ban1998 Ban Cities0102030405060708090100wwwwwwwwwwvsawwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww1980 1981 1982 1983 1984 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006BlackSmoke(µg/m3)Arklow Drogheda Dundalk Limerick Wexford1998 Ban
  • 13. Utah Valley, 1980s• Winter inversions trap local pollution• Natural test chamber• Local Steel mill contributed ~50% PM2.5• Shut down July 1986-August 1987• Natural Experiment
  • 14. Large difference in air qualitywhen inversions trap air pollution in valleyUtah Valley: Clean dayUtah Valley: Dirty day(PM10 = 220 µg/m3)
  • 15. When the steel mill was open, total children’s hospitaladmissions for respiratory conditions approx.doubled.MillOpenMillClosed
  • 16. Event Authors OutcomesGermanReunificationPeters et al 2009Suguri et al 2006Frye et al 2003Improved air quality andhealth benefitsImproved Lung function inChildrenImproved FVC, drop inbronchitis etcBejing OlympicGames Summer2008Li et al 2010Huang et al 2009Drop in Asthma admissionsImproved heart rate criteriaResidential WoodBurning SJ ValleyCA.Lightall et al 2009 Improved air quality.Mortality and morbidity costsavingsStockholmCongestion ChargingZoneJohanson et al 2009 Improved life expectancyWorkplace Smoking Goodman et al 2009 Reduced MI, improved
  • 17. REVIHAAP: Process and progress
  • 18. Harvard 6 cities study
  • 19. Other evidence APHEA in Europe NMMAPS in the US Air pollution harmful even at low levels
  • 20. The challenges! Cooking on open fires indoors (veryhigh exposures in developing countries) Industrial development in developingcountries Developed countries, nee dto reducefuel consumption, and thus emissions!
  • 21. Conclusions Interventions can improve airquality Interventions can improve thehealth of the general population
  • 22. Thank YouAny Questions?