Ozone pollution in Chinese cities: Assessment of seasonal variation, health effects and economic burden

Kamal Jyoti Maji, Wei-Feng Ye, Mohit Arora, S. M. Shiva Nagendra

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75 Citations (Scopus)


The ground-level ozone (O3) concentration in the urban regions of China has become an increasingly noticeable environmental problem in recent years. Many epidemiological studies have reported the association between O3 pollution and mortality, only a few studies have focused on the O3-related mortality and corresponding economic effects at the Chinese city and province level. This study reports the seasonal variation of ground-level O3 in 338 cities of China during the year 2016 and evaluates its effect on premature mortality and economic loss. It further illustrates the differences in cause-specific mortality outcomes of the log-linear and linear model, two of the prominently used methods for estimating health effects. In 2016, the annual average daily maximum 8-h O3 concentration in China ranged between 74 and 201 μg/m3 (138 ± 24.7 μg/m3). 30% of the total population was exposed to >160 μg/m3 O3 concentration (Chinese national ambient air quality standard) and about 67.2% urban population lived in exposure above the WHO recommended O3 concentrations (100 μg/m3). The estimated national O3-attributable mortality was 74.2 103 (95% CI: 16.7103–127103) in the log-linear model, whereas, the total O3-related mortality using the linear model was 69.6 103 (95% CI: 16.2 103–115 103). The exposure to O3 caused a nationwide economic loss of about 7.6 billion US$ (range: 1.7–12.9) in 2016. This study uniquely provides most comprehensive coverage of the Chinese cities for O3 associated mortality utilizing ground level measurement data for 2016 and presents a measurable assessment to the policymakers of China for streamlining their efforts on air quality improvement and O3 containment.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)792-801
Number of pages10
JournalEnvironmental Pollution
Early online date29 Jan 2019
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2019
Externally publishedYes


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