Quantifying the health impacts of ambient air pollutants: recommendations of a WHO/Europe project

Heather Anne Walton, Hugh Ross Anderson, Inga Clair Mills, Eleni Katsouyanni, Richard Atkinson, Bert Brunekreef, Aaron Cohen, Francesco Forastiere, Fintan Hurley, Daniel Krewski, M Krzyzanowski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

211 Citations (Scopus)


Quantitative estimates of air pollution health impacts have become an increasingly critical input to policy decisions. The WHO project “Health risks of air pollution in Europe—HRAPIE” was implemented to provide the evidence-based concentration–response functions for quantifying air pollution health impacts to support the 2013 revision of the air quality policy for the European Union (EU).
A group of experts convened by WHO Regional Office for Europe reviewed the accumulated primary research evidence together with some commissioned reviews and recommended concentration–response functions for air pollutant–health outcome pairs for which there was sufficient evidence for a causal association.
The concentration–response functions link several indicators of mortality and morbidity with short- and long-term exposure to particulate matter, ozone and nitrogen dioxide. The project also provides guidance on the use of these functions and associated baseline health information in the cost–benefit analysis.
The project results provide the scientific basis for formulating policy actions to improve air quality and thereby reduce the burden of disease associated with air pollution in Europe.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Public Health
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2015


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