Contributions of Interstate Transport of Air Pollutants to Air Pollution-related Mortality in the Mid-Atlantic U.S

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Wednesday, 5 February 2014: 5:00 PM
Room C213 (The Georgia World Congress Center )
Xiangting Hou, Kingsville, TX; and K. J. Liao

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Ground-level ozone is associated with adverse human health for both short term and long term exposure. These effects include lung structure misfunction, lung inflammation and infection, asthma and other respiratory mortality, and premature death. There are several researches showing that the increase in ozone concentrations will lead to higher mortality rates. As the two major precursors, nitrogen oxides (NOx) and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) could form ozone via atmospheric reaction in the presence of sunlight. The precursors to ozone can be transported long distance and formed in the downwind area that impacted the surface ozone air quality on a large spatial scale, even global scale. In addition, ozone has a longer atmospheric lifetime (22.3 +/- 2.0 days) and efficient transportation. Therefore in this paper, we estimated the mortality impacts of ozone from four major regions of eastern United States (CENRAP, LADCO, OTR+VA, and SEMAP) on cities with large exposed population more than 1,000,000 (New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, Detroit, Indianapolis, and Columbus). An health impact function based on epidemiologic literatures was employed to estimate the health impacts associated with changes in ambient ozone concentrations. We introduced BenMAP (version 4.0) to systematize the health impact assessment calculation process. A photochemical transport model, EPA's Community Multi-scale Air Quality (CMAQ), was applied to quantify the response of ozone concentrations to changes in its precursor emissions for a domain covering the eastern United States. Our results show that the health benefit of reductions in NOx and VOC emissions could be different in the Mid-Atlantic urban areas since ozone responses to common emission controls could be different for the cities examined in this study. Our results also show that NOx reductions could be more beneficial than anthropogenic VOC emission controls for protecting human health in the Mid-Atlantic urban areas.