Long-term concentrations of fine particulate matter and impact on human health in Verona, Italy

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Verona is an Italian city which experiences low levels of air quality due to its location near the centre of the Po Valley, one of the most polluted areas in Italy and in Europe. High pollutant concentrations, in particular of fine aerosol particles, are associated with detrimental effects on human health. The present study analyses the ground-based measurements of particulate matter with a diameter ≤2.5μm (PM 2.5 ) and ≤10μm (PM 10 ) registered in Verona and its province since 2002 to 2015. The annual means and the number of days when the European standards were exceeded show that air quality has slightly improved in the analysed period, with statistically significant negative trends present in both PM 10 and PM 2.5 levels. The annual mortality due to different diseases attributable to PM 2.5 has been estimated for the period 2009–2014 by employing concentration-response functions based on epidemiological cohort studies. Results show that, on average, about 299 deaths per year (3 are infants) are caused by PM 2.5 related diseases in Verona province. Among these, about 88 deaths per year (1 is infant) occur in Verona municipality. This means that 11.3% of the total deaths due to diseases of the respiratory and cardiovascular systems is attributable to long-term exposure to PM 2.5 pollution.




Pozzer, A., Bacer, S., Sappadina, S. D. Z., Predicatori, F., & Caleffi, A. (2018). Long-term concentrations of fine particulate matter and impact on human health in Verona, Italy. Atmospheric Pollution Research. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.apr.2018.11.012

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