Directeur de recherches Inserm
Unité 1209 « Institut pour l’Avancée des Biosciences » (Inserm, CNRS, Université Grenoble Alpes.)
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To produce a significant reduction in mortality due to fine particulates, their average level should be reduced by at least 3 micrograms per m3 as a yearly average, concludes an interdisciplinary study led by researchers from Inserm, the CNRS, INRA, Atmo Auvergne Rhône-Alpes and the Université Grenoble Alpes. This work, published in Environment International, also provides an estimate of the costs of pollution in urban areas: €1200 per inhabitant per year in the Lyon and Grenoble conurbations.
Exposure to fine particulate matter (PM2.5) is recognized to have significant effects on health in urban areas (including cardiovascular and respiratory mortality and disease, and pregnancy and fetal growth problems), but can be reduced. However, public policies designed to reduce atmospheric pollution are often developed without setting the explicit health benefits to be achieved.
So what should the target values be if we want to significantly improve health, decrease health costs, and reduce environmental inequalities? A multidisciplinary team of researchers (epidemiologists from Inserm, biologists and economists from the CNRS and INRA, and air quality specialists from Atmo Auvergne Rhône-Alpes) looked at different hypothetical scenarios for improving air quality in order to identify those that would be most effective.
First, yearly average exposure to PM2.5 was estimated using air quality observation tools and data on the location of housing in the Grenoble and Lyon conurbations (0.4 and 1.4 million inhabitants respectively). Based on previously established dose-response relations, the researchers estimated variations in the number of deaths and cases of lung disease, life expectancy, and associated economic costs for ten different scenarios for reducing PM2.5.
10 scenarios tested
The scenarios designed to obtain spatially homogeneous exposure to pollution across the entire study area were the most effective. “Measures that are highly spatially limited – or limited by time, for example, to ‘peak’ pollution periods – would appear to have a much lower impact on both mortality and on reducing health inequalities, ” explains Rémy Slama, Inserm research director.
In relation to mortality, reducing exposure to PM2.5 in line with the WHO (World Health Organization) guideline value for air quality (10 μg/m3) would halve mortality attributable to PM2.5 of human origin, while a reduction of 2.9 μg/m3 (Grenoble) and 3.3 μg/m3 (Lyon) would be required to reduce the mortality attributable to these particulates by a third. It is not simply deaths among vulnerable individuals that would be prevented: life expectancy would also simultaneously increase by around 3 months.
Researchers from Inserm, INRAE, Université Sorbonne Paris Nord, Université Paris Cité and Cnam, as part of the Nutritional epidemiology research team (EREN-CRESS), studied the role of dietary nitrites and....
Which decreases in air pollution should be targeted to bring health and economic benefits and improve environmental justice?
Xavier Morelli a, *, Stephan Gabet a, *, Camille Rieux b, Hélène Bouscasse c,d, Sandrine Mathy c, Rémy Slama a
a Equipe d’épidémiologie environnementale, IAB (Institut pour l’Avancée des Biosciences), centre de recherche Inserm, CNRS, et Université Grenoble Alpes, U1209, Grenoble.
b Atmo Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, Grenoble, France
c Grenoble Applied Economics Lab (GAEL), CNRS and Grenoble-Alpes Univ., Grenoble.
d CESAER, Agrosup Dijon, INRA, Bourgogne Franche-Comté Univ., Dijon.
* Co-first authorship