About HEI

What's New


HEI International





Contact HEI



Site Map









The Health Effects Institute


Public Health and Air Pollution in Asia:
Science Access on the Net


clean air initiative for asian cities

Welcome to PAPA-SAN, the world’s largest database of research reports on the health effects of air pollution in Asia.

The World Health Organization estimates that urban air pollution contributed to approximately 800,000 deaths and 6.4 million lost life-years worldwide in 2000 and that fully two-thirds of these losses occurred in the developing countries of Asia.

Estimates such as these play an important role in environmental policy in Asia and worldwide. They often rely, however, on the extrapolation to Asian populations of the results of research conducted in the West, where health status, health care, exposure to pollution, and socioeconomic circumstances are often markedly different. Together, these factors add considerable uncertainty to even the most careful estimates.

PAPA-SAN is a product of the Public Health and Air Pollution in Asia (PAPA) program of the Health Effects Institute. It was created to help researchers studying the effects of air pollution in Asia and to provide policymakers, international lending organizations, and other stakeholders with information to help them make better-informed decisions. Find out more more about the PAPA program and PAPA-SAN here.

PAPA-SAN currently includes 421 peer-reviewed reports published since 1980 on research conducted in 11 Asian countries (Figure 1). For each report, it provides key data, a brief summary of findings, and (when available) a live link to the abstract. Results are presented in table form, sorted in various useful ways (according to country or region, study design, type of pollutant, and health outcome), and ready for downloading and printing.


The listings in PAPA-SAN were systematically compiled from the peer-reviewed scientific literature in English, Chinese, Japanese, and Korean and are periodically updated. PAPA-SAN now lists reports identified through September 2007; the current update was released online in May 2008. Read more about our methods here.


In general, the studies listed in PAPA-SAN assessed ambient exposure to various combinations of particulate matter and gaseous pollutants and estimated the effects of exposure on human health by analyzing such measures as daily mortality and hospital admissions.

You can learn more here about the reports’ results and view or download a master table (Table 1. All Studies ) of key data from all reports (listed according to first author) and subsidiary tables organized by country or region, study design, pollutant, and health outcome, as well as a table of newly identified reports.

You can find information here on study designs, pollutants, and abbreviations commonly used in air pollution research as well as more information on the project’s staff and contributors.

map 2006

Figure 1. Reports according to region or country. Numbers in parentheses show the total number of reports identified for each area. Click on a country or region to view a summary of its results. Bangladesh Sri Lanka Pakistan Indonesia Malaysia Singapore India Thailand China South Korea Hong Kong Japan Taipei,China Indonesia



PAPA-SAN was produced by HEI’s Public Health and Air Pollution in Asia (PAPA) program in partnership with the Clean Air Initiative for Asian Cities (CAI–Asia). You can find out more about the PAPA program and the PAPA-SAN project here.

PAPA-SAN is an updated compilation of information originally published by HEI as part of Special Report 15, Health Effects of Outdoor Air Pollution in Developing Countries of Asia: A Literature Review, in April 2004.

We hope you will find PAPA-SAN to be a useful resource, and we welcome your feedback.

PAPA-SAN | Methods | Results | About | Links
For questions about PAPA-SAN please contact PAPA@healtheffects.org

Home | About HEI | What's New? | Newsletter | HEI International | Publications
Research | Funding | Meetings | Contact HEI | Employment | Links | Search | Site Map
Copyright © 2010 Health Effects Institute. Please send comments to webmaster@healtheffects.org