Time to harmonize national ambient air quality standards

Kutlar Joss, Meltem and Eeftens, Marloes and Gintowt, Emily and Kappeler, Ron and Künzli, Nino. (2017) Time to harmonize national ambient air quality standards. International journal of public health, 62 (4). pp. 453-462.

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The World Health Organization has developed ambient air quality guidelines at levels considered to be safe or of acceptable risk for human health. These guidelines are meant to support governments in defining national standards. It is unclear how they are followed.; We compiled an inventory of ambient air quality standards for 194 countries worldwide for six air pollutants: PM2.5, PM10, ozone, nitrogen dioxide, sulphur dioxide and carbon monoxide. We conducted literature and internet searches and asked country representatives about national ambient air quality standards.; We found information on 170 countries including 57 countries that did not set any air quality standards. Levels varied greatly by country and by pollutant. Ambient air quality standards for PM2.5, PM10 and SO2 poorly complied with WHO guideline values. The agreement was higher for CO, SO2 (10-min averaging time) and NO2.; Regulatory differences mirror the differences in air quality and the related burden of disease around the globe. Governments worldwide should adopt science based air quality standards and clean air management plans to continuously improve air quality locally, nationally, and globally.
Faculties and Departments:09 Associated Institutions > Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Swiss TPH) > Department of Epidemiology and Public Health (EPH) > Chronic Disease Epidemiology > Air Pollution and Health (Künzli)
03 Faculty of Medicine > Departement Public Health > Sozial- und Präventivmedizin > Air Pollution and Health (Künzli)
09 Associated Institutions > Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Swiss TPH)
UniBasel Contributors:Künzli, Nino and Kutlar Joss, Meltem and Eeftens, Marloes
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
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edoc DOI:
Last Modified:31 Oct 2017 10:13
Deposited On:06 Jun 2017 12:12

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