Air Quality and Health – Making the Connection – John Romley

Report
Air Quality and Its Effects:
The California Experience
John A. Romley, Ph.D.
Research Assistant Professor
Price School of Public Policy
May 1, 2014
1
Air quality has been an important story
for much of California
2
Los Angeles has been the lead character
City Hall during LA’s first “smog attack” in 1943
One coping strategy for a
1955 event
City Hall on a good day in 2013
Sources: LA Times; LA Weekly
3
Effects of air quality from the perspective
of the dismal science
Quasiexperimental
evidence
Avoidance
behavior
Beyond
short-term
health effects
• Like pollution levels, the health status of individuals
varies by location, and is hard to measure
– Health effects of pollution are overstated, if sicker people live
in areas with more pollution
– Neidell (2004) analyzed changes in asthma hospitalizations in
LA zip codes as pollution varied randomly month by month…
– …and found that reductions in carbon monoxide from 1992
through 1998 reduced admissions among children by 5-14%
4
Effects of air quality from the perspective
of the dismal science
Quasiexperimental
evidence
Avoidance
behavior
Beyond
short-term
health effects
• Individuals may take actions to minimize effects
– Measured health effects reflect actual exposure
– Unavoidable exposure results from unpredictable arrivals at the
LA port, and from runway idling at LAX due to system delays
(Neidell & Moretti, 2006; Schlenker & Walker, 2011)
– Such exposure leads to much more severe health effects…
…which suggests that avoidance behavior can be quite costly
5
Effects of air quality from the perspective
of the dismal science
Quasiexperimental
evidence
Avoidance
behavior
Beyond
short-term
health effects
• Childhood asthma is associated with obesity in young
adults (Fletcher et al., 2010)
• 10 μg/m3 increase in PM2.5 outdoors leads to 6%
decrease in productivity of indoor fruit packers in
northern California (Chang et al., 2014)
6
California has led the United States
in clearing the air
1966:
Auto emission
standards
State and local
1st
1943:
smog
attack
1960:
Motor
Vehicle
Pollution
Control
Board
1947:
1952:
LA county
pollution Science
district of smog
known
1940s
1950s
1967:
CA Air
Resources
Board
1969:
Air
standards
set
1960s
1940s
1970:
Clean Air Act Amendments
Federal
1975:
2 way
catalytic
converter
1988:
Clean
Air
Act
1990:
Clean
fuel,
cars
1984:
Vehicle
inspections
1970s
1950s
1980s
2000:
Fresno
Asthmatic
Children’s
Environment
Study
1998:
Diesel
emissions
found
toxic
1990s
1990:
Clean Air Act Amendments
1977:
Review of
standards
required
1971:
National air standards
7
The progress is striking
Sources: SCAQMD; CARB
Ozone
PM
CO reductions through 1990s saved the lives of
1,000 infants (Currie & Neidell, 2004)
8
Despite this progress, air pollution remains
a significant problem for the state
Ozone non-attainment areas
9
Environmental pressures grow and grow
Source: CARB
11
Air quality as an element of social justice
12
My work indicates that disparities in exposure
interact with other factors
Disparities in Excess-Pollution-Related Hospital Events:
All Hospital Events
50
Total Attributable
Risk
40
30
Contribution of
Disparities in
Pollution Exposure
20
10
0
Contribution of
Disparities in NonPollution Event
Rates
-10
-20
-30
Black
Hispanic
Asian /
Pacific
Islander
B
Difference (Compared to Whites) in Annual
Events per 100,000 Population
Difference (Compared to Whites) in Annual
Events per 100,000 Population
A
Dispar
4
2
0
-2
-4
-6
-8
-10
B
Source: Hackbarth, Romley and Goldman (2011)
Disparities in Excess-Pollution-Related Hospital Events:
Cardiovascular Adm issions
D
al
al
C
Dispar
13
In response, California continues to
advance the story on U.S. environmental policy
fuel
•• Diesel
Diesel fuel
movement
•• Goods
Goods movement
Portsofof
Long
Beach
•• Ports
Long
Beach
/ LA / LA
• Low emissions vehicles
• Greenhouse gas emissions
• Solar power subsidies
14
Heavy transport is a driver of air quality in the state
• SCAQMD (2007): In LA
basin, trucks, rail and
ships generate
– 10% of PM
– 24% of NOx
– 73% of SOx
• Perez et al. (2009):
Proximity to road traffic
causes 9% of child asthma
cases in Long Beach and
6% in Riverside
Source: CARB
– Ship emissions account for
21% of bronchitis cases
15
Ongoing developments in heavy transport
• CARB adopted low-sulfur diesel standard in 2003
– Many large diesel vehicles have been mandated to install
filters, upgrade engines
• State developed a Goods Movement Action Plan over
2005 - 2007
– One key goal is to reduce diesel PM emissions by 85% by 2020
– $1 billion in funding from Proposition 1B
– Benefit-cost ratio put at anywhere from 3:1 to 8:1
• Ports of Long Beach / LA created clean air plan in 2006
– Diesel PM decreased 75% from 2005 – 2011
– Port modernization is doubling cargo capacity, with a
controversial new railyard
16
Looking back, and ahead
• California has made substantial progress in improving
air quality
• Evidence of health effects at pollution levels below
current standards continues to accumulate
• Good physical and social science are needed to identify
policy options & understand their costs and benefits…
• …and good policy decisions are needed to advance the
public interest
17

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