Health and Economic Benefits of Complying With the World Health Organization Air Quality Guidelines for Particulate Matter in Nine Major Latin American Cities


Objectives: This study aims to estimate the short-term preventable mortality and associated economic costs of complying with the World Health Organization (WHO) air quality guidelines (AQGs) limit values for PM10 and PM2.5 in nine major Latin American cities. Methods: We estimated city-specific PM-mortality associations using time-series regression models and calculated the attributable mortality fraction. Next, we used the value of statistical life to calculate the economic benefits of complying with the WHO AQGs limit values. Results: In most cities, PM concentrations exceeded the WHO AQGs limit values more than 90% of the days. PM10 was found to be associated with an average excess mortality of 1.88% with concentrations above WHO AQGs limit values, while for PM2.5 it was 1.05%. The associated annual economic costs varied widely, between US 19.5 million to 3,386.9 million for PM10, and US 196.3 million to 2,209.6 million for PM2.5. Conclusion: Our findings suggest that there is an urgent need for policymakers to develop interventions to achieve sustainable air quality improvements in Latin America. Complying with the WHO AQGs limit values for PM10 and PM2.5 in Latin American cities would substantially benefits for urban populations.

Int J Public Health, 69