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A Quantitative Risk Assessment Method Based on Population and Exposure Distributions Using Australian Air Quality Data

Beer, T and Ricci, P.F. (1999) A Quantitative Risk Assessment Method Based on Population and Exposure Distributions Using Australian Air Quality Data. Environment International, 25 (6-7). pp. 887-898.

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Article Link(s): http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0160-4120(99)00064-1

Publisher URL: http://www.elsevier.com

Abstract

This paper develops a practical probabilistic method for assessing aggregate population health risks from different types of population exposures. The method consists of calculating the product of two functions: a population-weighted distribution of concentrations and a concentration-response distribution. This operation yields the corresponding aggregated health-risk distribution function. The method can use alternative exposure-response distributions and populations-specific exposure patterns, depending on the context of the assessment. A deterministic sensitivity analysis is included in the methodological aspects of this research. The distributions of concentrations are generated by combining area-specific population densities with atmospheric concentrations for each of the areas where exposure to air pollutants occurs. The exposure-response functions are developed from the literature. The method is exemplified using alternative exposure probabilities to carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, particulate matter (PM10), and exposure-response models developed specifically for these pollutants for assessing health risks, and applied to data from a number of Australian cities. The results, which hold when the functions are monotonic, show single maximum per pollutant, regardless of the choice of exposure and exposure-response distribution. Although those maxima are often below the Australian Air Pollution Standards there are instances when this is not the case.

Item Type:Article
Additional Information:© Elsevier Ltd.
Keywords:Air pollution; probabilistic method; assessing aggregate population health risks.
Subjects:Science > Science (General)
Deposited On:31 Jul 2007
Last Modified:06 Jun 2011 23:22

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