• Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Aromatic hydrocarbons emitted from gasoline-powered vehicles contribute to the formation of secondary organic aerosol (SOA), which increases the atmospheric concentration of fine particles (PM2.5). Here we estimate the public health burden associated with exposures to the subset of PM2.5 that originates from vehicle emissions of aromatics under business as usual conditions. METHODS: The PM2.5 contribution from gasoline aromatics is estimated using the Community Multiscale Air Quality (CMAQ) modeling system and the results are compared to ambient measurements from the literature. Marginal PM2.5 annualized concentration changes are used to calculate premature mortalities using concentration-response functions, with a value of mortality reduction approach used to monetize the social cost of mortality impacts. Morbidity impacts are qualitatively discussed. RESULTS: Modeled aromatic SOA concentrations from CMAQ fall short of ambient measurements by approximately a factor of two nationwide, with strong regional differences. After accounting for this model bias, the estimated public health impacts from exposure to PM2.5 originating from aromatic hydrocarbons in gasoline lead to a best estimate of approximately 3800 predicted premature mortalities nationwide, with best estimates ranging from 1800 to over 4700 depending on the specific concentration-response function used. These impacts are associated with total social costs of $28.2B, and range from $13.6B to $34.9B in 2006$. Assuming that the contribution of SOA precursors originating from aromatic hydrocarbons in gasoline is higher in urban areas increases these estimates to 5100 predicted premature mortalities nationwide, with best estimates ranging from over 2400 to 6300, associated with total social costs of $37.9B, ranging from $18.2B to $46.8B in 2006$. CONCLUSIONS: These preliminary quantitative estimates indicate particulates from vehicular emissions of aromatic hydrocarbons demonstrate a sizeable public health burden. The results provide a baseline from which to evaluate potential public health impacts of changes in gasoline composition.
    Environmental Health 02/2013; 12(1):19. · 2.71 Impact Factor

Full-text (2 Sources)

View
25 Downloads
Available from
May 16, 2014