Air pollution: A public health approach for Portugal

Sci Total Environ. 2018 Dec 1;643:1041-1053. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2018.06.281. Epub 2018 Jun 28.

Abstract

At the global level, several epidemiological studies have conclusively pointed out the associations between short-term exposure to air pollution and acute health effects, and long-term exposure with adverse health effects such as premature mortality from severe respiratory and cardiovascular diseases. This study intended to characterize exposures and their adverse health effects. Three independent sets of vectors were analyzed on a nationwide level and annual basis: air pollutant emissions, ambient air concentrations and health indicators of the period 2009 to 2015. The emissions analysis, for the studied pollutants, pointed out the main findings: (i) Lisbon Metropolitan Area presents the most problematic region with regard to the emissions of all the pollutants under study; (ii) the regions of the Alentejo and Algarve showed reduced emissions of the studied pollutants compared to other parts of the country; (iii) Northern regions PM10 concentrations decreased during the two years in analysis. Regarding the analysis of air quality, it was concluded that: (i) regarding ozone, concentration shown a decreasing trend throughout the country; (ii) nitrogen dioxide and particulate matter, concentrations demonstrated an increasing trend in most of the northern part of the country; (iii) the regions of Alentejo and Lisbon Metropolitan Area showed increasing trends for sulfur dioxide and fine particles for the evaluated period. Decreasing trends in mortality associated with cardiovascular and respiratory causes are found mainly in the Alentejo and Algarve regions. In comparison, the North, Central regions, as well as, Lisbon Metropolitan Area exhibited higher mortality values related to this health indicators.

Keywords: Air pollutants; Emissions; Environmental exposure; Health effects; Non-communicable disease.

MeSH terms

  • Air Pollutants
  • Air Pollution / prevention & control
  • Air Pollution / statistics & numerical data*
  • Environmental Policy*
  • Ozone
  • Particulate Matter
  • Portugal
  • Public Health*
  • Time Factors

Substances

  • Air Pollutants
  • Particulate Matter
  • Ozone