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      Drivers of improved PM 2.5 air quality in China from 2013 to 2017

      research-article
      a , 2 , a , a , b , c , b , c , d , e , f , g , h , e , b , i , d , i , a , a , b , a , b , a , a , b , b , j , k , l , m , m , b , n , i , o , b , 2 , b , 2
      Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
      National Academy of Sciences
      clean air actions, PM2.5, emission abatements, air quality improvements, health benefits

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          Significance

          The high frequency of haze pollution in China has attracted broad attention and triggered, in 2013, the promulgation of the toughest-ever clean air policy in the country. In this study, we quantified the air quality and health benefits from specific clean air actions by combining a chemical transport model with a detailed emission inventory. As tremendous efforts and resources are needed for mitigating emissions from various sources, evaluation of the effectiveness of these measures can provide crucial information for developing air quality policies in China as well as in other developing and highly polluting countries. Based on measure-specific analysis, our results bear out several important implications for designing future clean air policies.

          Abstract

          From 2013 to 2017, with the implementation of the toughest-ever clean air policy in China, significant declines in fine particle (PM 2.5) concentrations occurred nationwide. Here we estimate the drivers of the improved PM 2.5 air quality and the associated health benefits in China from 2013 to 2017 based on a measure-specific integrated evaluation approach, which combines a bottom-up emission inventory, a chemical transport model, and epidemiological exposure-response functions. The estimated national population–weighted annual mean PM 2.5 concentrations decreased from 61.8 (95%CI: 53.3–70.0) to 42.0 µg/m 3 (95% CI: 35.7–48.6) in 5 y, with dominant contributions from anthropogenic emission abatements. Although interannual meteorological variations could significantly alter PM 2.5 concentrations, the corresponding effects on the 5-y trends were relatively small. The measure-by-measure evaluation indicated that strengthening industrial emission standards (power plants and emission-intensive industrial sectors), upgrades on industrial boilers, phasing out outdated industrial capacities, and promoting clean fuels in the residential sector were major effective measures in reducing PM 2.5 pollution and health burdens. These measures were estimated to contribute to 6.6- (95% CI: 5.9–7.1), 4.4- (95% CI: 3.8–4.9), 2.8- (95% CI: 2.5–3.0), and 2.2- (95% CI: 2.0–2.5) µg/m 3 declines in the national PM 2.5 concentration in 2017, respectively, and further reduced PM 2.5-attributable excess deaths by 0.37 million (95% CI: 0.35–0.39), or 92% of the total avoided deaths. Our study confirms the effectiveness of China’s recent clean air actions, and the measure-by-measure evaluation provides insights into future clean air policy making in China and in other developing and polluting countries.

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          Most cited references39

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          Is Open Access

          Global estimates of mortality associated with long-term exposure to outdoor fine particulate matter

          Significance Exposure to outdoor concentrations of fine particulate matter is considered a leading global health concern, largely based on estimates of excess deaths using information integrating exposure and risk from several particle sources (outdoor and indoor air pollution and passive/active smoking). Such integration requires strong assumptions about equal toxicity per total inhaled dose. We relax these assumptions to build risk models examining exposure and risk information restricted to cohort studies of outdoor air pollution, now covering much of the global concentration range. Our estimates are severalfold larger than previous calculations, suggesting that outdoor particulate air pollution is an even more important population health risk factor than previously thought.
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            Is Open Access

            Anthropogenic drivers of 2013–2017 trends in summer surface ozone in China

            Significance Drastic air pollution control in China since 2013 has achieved sharp decreases in fine particulate matter (PM2.5), but ozone pollution has not improved. After removing the effect of meteorological variability, we find that surface ozone has increased in megacity clusters of China, notably Beijing and Shanghai. The increasing trend cannot be simply explained by changes in anthropogenic precursor [NOx and volatile organic compound (VOC)] emissions, particularly in North China Plain (NCP). The most important cause of the increasing ozone in NCP appears to be the decrease in PM2.5, slowing down the sink of hydroperoxy radicals and thus speeding up ozone production. Decreasing ozone in the future will require a combination of NOx and VOC emission controls to overcome the effect of decreasing PM2.5.
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              Health impact of China's Air Pollution Prevention and Control Action Plan: an analysis of national air quality monitoring and mortality data

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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A
                Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A
                pnas
                pnas
                PNAS
                Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
                National Academy of Sciences
                0027-8424
                1091-6490
                3 December 2019
                18 November 2019
                18 November 2019
                : 116
                : 49
                : 24463-24469
                Affiliations
                [1] aDepartment of Earth System Science, Tsinghua University , 100084 Beijing, China;
                [2] bState Key Joint Laboratory of Environment Simulation and Pollution Control, School of Environment, Tsinghua University , 100084 Beijing, China;
                [3] cCollege of Environmental Sciences and Engineering, Peking University , 100871 Beijing, China;
                [4] dChinese Academy of Meteorological Sciences, China Meteorological Administration , 100081 Beijing, China;
                [5] eChinese Academy for Environmental Planning , 100012 Beijing, China;
                [6] fResearch Center for Eco-Environmental Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences , 100085 Beijing, China;
                [7] gAnhui Institute of Optics and Fine Mechanics, Chinese Academy of Sciences , 230031 Hefei, China;
                [8] hNational Climate Center, China Meteorological Administration , 100081 Beijing, China;
                [9] iInstitute of Atmospheric Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences , 100029 Beijing, China;
                [10] jKey Laboratory of Aerosol Chemistry and Physics, Institute of Earth Environment, Chinese Academy of Sciences , 710061 Xi’an, China;
                [11] kSchool of Atmospheric Sciences, Nanjing University , 210023 Nanjing, China;
                [12] lChinese Research Academy of Environmental Sciences , 100012 Beijing, China;
                [13] mShanghai Environmental Monitoring Center , 200030 Shanghai, China;
                [14] nBeijing Key Laboratory of Airborne Particulate Matter Monitoring Technology, Beijing Municipal Environmental Monitoring Center , 100048 Beijing, China;
                [15] oDepartment of Environmental Science and Engineering, College of Architecture and Environment, Sichuan University , 610065 Chengdu, China
                Author notes

                Edited by Steven C. Wofsy, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, and approved October 17, 2019 (received for review May 8, 2019)

                Author contributions: Q.Z., K.H., and J. Hao designed research; Q.Z., Y. Zheng, and D.T. performed research; X.Z., Y.W., J. Cheng, Y. Liu, Q.S., L.Y., G.G., C.H., M.L., F.L., B.Z., J. Cao, A.D., J.G., Q.F., J. Huo, B.L., Z.L., and F.Y. contributed new reagents/analytic tools; Q.Z., M.S., S.W., Y. Zhang, X.X., J.W., H.H., W.L., Y.D., Y. Lei, J.L., Z.W., X.Z., Y.W., K.H., and J. Hao analyzed data; and Q.Z., Y. Zheng, and D.T. wrote the paper.

                1Q.Z., Y. Zheng, and D.T. contributed equally to this work.

                Author information
                http://orcid.org/0000-0002-3429-5754
                http://orcid.org/0000-0001-9727-1963
                http://orcid.org/0000-0002-1605-8448
                http://orcid.org/0000-0001-8344-3445
                http://orcid.org/0000-0003-4481-5386
                Article
                201907956
                10.1073/pnas.1907956116
                6900509
                31740599
                8cee9149-8280-4462-9dce-10e3690855d3
                Copyright © 2019 the Author(s). Published by PNAS.

                This open access article is distributed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives License 4.0 (CC BY-NC-ND).

                History
                Page count
                Pages: 7
                Categories
                9
                Physical Sciences
                Environmental Sciences
                Social Sciences
                Sustainability Science

                clean air actions,pm2.5,emission abatements,air quality improvements,health benefits

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