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New HEI report examines major sources of PM and impacts on global health


A new report published by HEI brings together for the first time comprehensive global estimates of the most common sources of fine particulate matter (PM) air pollution and its impacts on global health.

Key findings in the report, Global Burden of Disease from Major Air Pollution Sources (GBD MAPS), show that the burning of fossil fuels contributed to more than one million deaths globally in 2017, with more than half of those coming from coal combustion. The burning of solid biofuels, such as wood for indoor heating and cooking, is another major source of PM, accounting for an additional 740,000 deaths, especially across South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa.

The study team, led by Erin McDuffie and Randall Martin of Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, and Michael Brauer at The University of British Columbia, Canada, provides a first-ever comprehensive global analysis estimating major sources of air pollution for every country in the world. The investigators used updated emissions inventories categorized by sector and fuel, satellite data and air quality modeling, and the most recent relationships between air quality and health. The study aims to help countries decide which air pollution source sectors to address with policies that limit emissions.

Read the full report – and a Commentary from the independent Review Panel – here.