Secondary Logo

Journal Logo

Abstracts: ISEE 21st Annual Conference, Dublin, Ireland, August 25–29, 2009: Poster Presentations

Health Impact Assessment for Particulate Matter (PM10) in Mexico City

Rodríguez, Horacio Riojas; Hernández, Urinda Alamo; Sangrador, José Luis Texcalac; Romieu, Isabelle

Author Information
doi: 10.1097/01.ede.0000362983.21438.74
  • Free



There is robust scientific evidence indicating that exposure to ambient particulate air pollution with aerodynamic diameter less than 10 micrometers (PM10), is associated with increased risk of death for broadly defined cardiovascular or respiratory causes.


This study conducted a health impact assessment (HIA) of PM10 exposure in Mexico City and the main objective was to provide an estimate of the potential health benefit that would result from a stepwise improvement of the air quality.


HIA is based on standard approaches to derive the number of adverse effects that are attributable to some established risk factor. The calculation requires three basic pieces of information: 1) Frequency or occurrence of a health problem in the population, 2) PM10 levels and 3) The quantitative information about the association between exposure to PM10 and the occurrence of health outcomes (concentration response function-CFR). The quantification of benefits was done by comparing the current burden with the one expected if air quality was at some lower levels. A geographical model using a Geographic Information System was built to estimate the population exposure to PM10. To compare different estimates we selected three different sources of CFRs: international meta-analysis, Mexico City studies and ESCALA data (ESCALA is a recent multicenter project that examines the association between health effects and air pollution in several cities in Latin America.).


The reduction of current levels of PM10 to the WHO standards would result in about 1191 (882–1499) fewer annual deaths using ESCALA CFRs. This reduction is more important in people older than 65 years with 805 (605–1285) avoided deaths and 102 (21–180) for >1 year. The evaluation also included death due to respiratory, cardiovascular and brain's vascular causes.


The results of the study will provide useful information to policy makers for implementing air quality management policies in the next 10 years.

© 2009 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.