Health Burden from Residential Combustion...

Research studies on wood smoke and other air pollution.

Health Burden from Residential Combustion...

Postby Wilberforce » Tue Sep 06, 2016 12:05 pm
Environ Health Perspect; DOI:10.1289/EHP550

Estimating State-Specific Contributions to PM2.5- and O3-Related Health Burden from Residential Combustion and Electricity Generating Unit Emissions in the United States
Stefani L. Penn,1 Saravanan Arunachalam,2 Matthew Woody,2,3 Wendy Heiger-Bernays,4 Yorghos Tripodis,5 and Jonathan I. Levy4

Background: Residential combustion (RC) and electricity generating unit (EGU) emissions adversely impact air quality and human health by increasing ambient concentrations of fine particulate matter (PM2.5) and ozone (O3). Studies to date have not isolated contributing emissions by state of origin (source-state), which is necessary for policy makers to determine efficient strategies to decrease health impacts.

Objectives: In this study, we aim to estimate health impacts (premature mortalities) attributable to PM2.5 and O3 from RC and EGU emissions by precursor species, source sector, and source-state in the continental US for 2005.

Methods: We use the Community Multiscale Air Quality model employing the Direct Decoupled Method to quantify changes in air quality and epidemiological evidence to determine concentration-response functions to calculate associated health impacts.

Results: We estimate 21,000 premature mortalities per year from EGU emissions, driven by SO2 emissions forming PM2.5. More than half of EGU health impacts are attributable to emissions from eight states with significant coal combustion and large downwind populations. We estimate 10,000 premature mortalities per year from RC emissions, driven by primary PM2.5 emissions. States with large populations and significant residential wood combustion dominate RC health impacts. Annual mortality risk per thousand tons of precursor emissions (health damage functions) varied significantly across source-states for both source sectors and all precursor pollutants.

Conclusions: Our findings reinforce the importance of pollutant-specific, location-specific, and source-specific models of health impacts in design of health-risk minimizing emissions control policies.
• The Surgeon General has determined that there is no safe level of exposure to ambient smoke!

• If you smell even a subtle odor of smoke, you are being exposed to poisonous and carcinogenic chemical compounds!

• Even a brief exposure to smoke raises blood pressure, (no matter what your state of health) and can cause blood clotting, stroke, or heart attack in vulnerable people. Even children experience elevated blood pressure when exposed to smoke!

• Since smoke drastically weakens the lungs' immune system, avoiding smoke is one of the best ways to prevent colds, flu, bronchitis, or risk of an even more serious respiratory illness, such as pneumonia or tuberculosis! Does your child have the flu? Chances are they have been exposed to ambient smoke!
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