Global burden of disease from major air pollution sources (GBD MAPS): a global approach

Exposure to air pollution has long been associated with mortality and shortened life expectancy and has been acknowledged as one of the main risk factors that affect people’s health worldwide. Among all air pollutants, fine particulate matter (PM2.5) has been identified as a substantial public health concern. The Global Burden of Disease (GBD) Study and similar assessments provide information on the impacts of outdoor PM2.5 and other air pollutants on air quality and health, but they have not provided detailed information on which sources of air pollution are the biggest contributors to health burden. The study provides the first comprehensive estimates of source contributions to PM2.5 levels and cause-specific disease burden at global, regional, and national scales to help inform policy. It used updated emissions inventories categorized by sector and fuel, satellite data and air quality modeling, and the most recent estimates of relationships between air quality and health. Major sources of PM2.5 varied substantially by country, with notable contributions from energy generation, industry, transportation, windblown dust, and agriculture sectors in certain locations.