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Are current levels of air pollution in England too high?: the impact of pollution on population mortality

Henderson, John, Janke, Katharina and Propper, Carol (2007) Are current levels of air pollution in England too high?: the impact of pollution on population mortality. CASEpapers, CASE/128. Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion, London School of Economics and Political Science, London, UK.

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Abstract

We examine the relationship between common sources of airborne pollution and population mortality in present day England. The current air quality limit values are low by both historical and international standards, and these are set at levels which are believed not to be harmful to health. We assess whether this view is correct. We use data at local authority level for the period 1998 to 2004 to examine whether current levels of airborne pollution, as measured by annual mean concentrations of carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, particulate matter less than 10 μm in diameter (PM10) and ozone, are associated with excess deaths. We examine all cause mortality and deaths from specific cardiovascular and respiratory causes that are known to be exacerbated by air pollution. We exploit the panel nature of our data to control for any unobserved time-invariant associations at local authority level between high levels of pollution and poor population health and estimate multi-pollutant models to allow for the fact that three of the pollutants are closely correlated. We find higher levels of PM10 and ozone are associated with higher mortality rates. The size of the effects we find translates into around 4,500 deaths per annum.

Item Type: Monograph (Discussion Paper)
Official URL: http://sticerd.lse.ac.uk/case
Additional Information: © 2007 The Authors
Library of Congress subject classification: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare. Criminology
Journal of Economic Literature Classification System: I - Health, Education, and Welfare > I1 - Health > I12 - Health Production: Nutrition, Mortality, Morbidity, Suicide, Substance Abuse and Addiction, Disability, and Economic Behavior
I - Health, Education, and Welfare > I1 - Health > I18 - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
Sets: Collections > Economists Online
Research centres and groups > Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion (CASE)
Rights: http://www.lse.ac.uk/library/usingTheLibrary/academicSupport/OA/depositYourResearch.aspx
Identification Number: CASE/128
Date Deposited: 30 Jun 2008 13:15
URL: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/6205/

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