Health impact assessment of short-term exposure to NO2 in Kermanshah, Iran using AirQ model
Authors: Yusef Omidi, Gholamreza Goudarzi, Ali Mirza Heidari , Seyed Mohammad Daryanoosh
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Background: Epidemiological studies have illustrated that exposure to atmospheric nitrogen oxides (NO2/NOX) is responsible for an increased risk of acute or chronic diseases such as cancer. In this study the health risks associated with nitrogen dioxide (NO2) were assessed in the city of Kermanshah, the capital of Kermanshah province, Iran.
Methods: Data on hourly NO2 levels that had been measured with the Environ tech model M200 was taken from the Kermanshah Environmental Protection Agency (KEPA). The AirQ2.2.3 model was used to quantify data based on baseline incidence (BI), relative risk (RR), and attributable proportion (AP). The number of cases of cardiovascular mortality (CM), acute myocardial infarction (MI), and hospital admissions for chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases (HACOPD) was estimated.
Results: The results of the current study show that there were 33, 16, and 13 cases of CM, acute MI, and HACOPD, respectively, attributable to NO2 exposure. Furthermore, 26.85% of health impacts occurred on days when NO2 levels did not exceed 40 μg/m3. For every 10 μg/m3 increase in the NO2 level, the risk of CM, MI, and HACOPD rose about 0.2%, 0.36%, and 0.38%, respectively.
Conclusion: In order to reduce the number of cases of mortality and morbidity caused by exposure to NO2, several immediate steps should be taken by the government to control emissions from various sources, particularly car exhaust, to reduce the levels of NO2 in the atmosphere.