Document Detail

Global mortality attributable to aircraft cruise emissions.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  20809615     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Aircraft emissions impact human health though degradation of air quality. The majority of previous analyses of air quality impacts from aviation have considered only landing and takeoff emissions. We show that aircraft cruise emissions impact human health over a hemispheric scale and provide the first estimate of premature mortalities attributable to aircraft emissions globally. We estimate ∼8000 premature mortalities per year are attributable to aircraft cruise emissions. This represents ∼80% of the total impact of aviation (where the total includes the effects of landing and takeoff emissions), and ∼1% of air quality-related premature mortalities from all sources. However, we note that the impact of landing and takeoff emissions is likely to be under-resolved. Secondary H(2)SO(4)-HNO(3)-NH(3) aerosols are found to dominate mortality impacts. Due to the altitude and region of the atmosphere at which aircraft emissions are deposited, the extent of transboundary air pollution is particularly strong. For example, we describe how strong zonal westerly winds aloft, the mean meridional circulation around 30-60°N, interaction of aircraft-attributable aerosol precursors with background ammonia, and high population densities in combination give rise to an estimated ∼3500 premature mortalities per year in China and India combined, despite their relatively small current share of aircraft emissions. Subsidence of aviation-attributable aerosol and aerosol precursors occurs predominantly around the dry subtropical ridge, which results in reduced wet removal of aviation-attributable aerosol. It is also found that aircraft NO(x) emissions serve to increase oxidation of nonaviation SO(2), thereby further increasing the air quality impacts of aviation. We recommend that cruise emissions be explicitly considered in the development of policies, technologies and operational procedures designed to mitigate the air quality impacts of air transportation.
Steven R H Barrett; Rex E Britter; Ian A Waitz
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't; Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Environmental science & technology     Volume:  44     ISSN:  1520-5851     ISO Abbreviation:  Environ. Sci. Technol.     Publication Date:  2010 Oct 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2010-09-29     Completed Date:  2011-01-06     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0213155     Medline TA:  Environ Sci Technol     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  7736-42     Citation Subset:  IM    
Department of Engineering, University of Cambridge, Trumping Street CB2 1PZ, UK.
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MeSH Terms
Air Pollutants / toxicity*
Reg. No./Substance:
0/Air Pollutants

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