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Stronger policy required to substantially reduce deaths from PM2.5 pollution in China

Abstract

Air pollution kills nearly 1 million people per year in China. In response, the Chinese government implemented the Air Pollution Prevention and Control Action Plan (APPCAP) from 2013 to 2017 which had a significant impact on reducing PM2.5 concentration. However, the health benefits of the APPCAP are not well understood. Here we examine the spatiotemporal dynamics of annual deaths attributable to PM2.5 pollution (DAPP) in China and the contribution from the APPCAP using decomposition analysis. Despite a 36.1% increase in DAPP from 2000 to 2017, The APPCAP-induced improvement in air quality achieved substantial health benefits, with the DAPP in 2017 reduced by 64 thousand (6.8%) compared to 2013. However, the policy is unlikely to result in further major reductions in DAPP and more ambitious policies are required to reduce the health impacts of air pollution by 2030 and meet the United Nation's Sustainable Development Goal 3. Chinese government has implemented the air pollution control measure-the Air Pollution Prevention and Control Action Plan in 2013, whose effects have not been fully studied. Here the authors show that from 2013 to 2017, the plan has achieved substantial public health benefits.