Quantification of population exposure to PM2.5 and PM10 in Sweden 2005

The population exposure to PM2.5 and PM10 in ambient air for the year 2005 has been quantified (annual and daily mean concentrations) and the health and associated economic consequences have been calculated based on these results. The PM10 urban background concentrations are found to be rather low compared to the environmental standard for the annual mean (40 µg/m3) in most of the country. However, in some parts, mainly in southern Sweden, the concentrations were of the same magnitude as the environmental objective (20 µg/m3 as an annual mean) for the year 2010. The majority of people, 90%, were exposed to annual mean concentrations of PM10 less than 20 µg/m3. Less than 1% of the Swedish inhabitants experienced exposure levels of PM10 above 25 µg/m3. The urban background concentrations of PM2.5 were in the same order of magnitude as the environmental objective (12 µg/m3 as an annual mean for the year 2010) in quite a large part of the country. About 50% of the population was exposed to PM2.5 annual mean concentrations less than 10 µg/m3, while less than 2% experienced levels above 15 µg/m3. Using a cut off at 5 µg/m3 of PM10 as the annual mean (roughly excluding natural PM) and source specific ER-functions, we estimate approximately 3 400 premature deaths per year. Together with 1 300 - 1 400 new cases of chronic bronchitis, around 1 400 hospital admissions and some 4.5-5 million RADs, the societal cost for health impacts is estimated at approximately 26 billion SEK per year. For PM2.5 we estimate somewhat lower numbers, approximately 3 100 premature deaths per year. The results suggest that the health effects related to high annual mean levels of PM can be valued to annual socio-economic costs (welfare losses) of ~26 billion Swedish crowns (SEK) during 2005. Approximately 1.4 of these 26 billion SEK consist of productivity losses for society. Furthermore, the amount of working and studying days lost constitutes some ~0.1% of the total amount of working and studying days in Sweden during 2005.

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