News from ISGlobal
A study led by the Barcelona Institute for Global Health (ISGlobal) has estimated the disease burden for various environmental exposure factors among the child population of Europe, and once again highlights the risk posed by air pollution. The study calculates that every year exposure to particulate matter of less than 10 micrograms (PM10) in diameter and less than 2.5 micrograms (PM2.5) takes away 125,000 years of healthy life from children in Europe.
This analysis, published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, assessed the burden of disease for the child population of the 28 countries in the European Union for seven environmental risk factors: air pollution - PM10, PM2.5 and ozone - passive tobacco smoke, humidity, lead and formaldehyde.
Population and health data were compiled from several European databases and the analysis of the environmental burden of disease was conducted in line with the comparative risk assessment approach proposed by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the Global Burden of Disease (GBD) project. The researchers calculated disability-adjusted life years (DALYs), a measure of overall burden of disease expressed as the number of years of healthy life lost to illness, disability or premature death.
The conclusions show that the environmental exposure factors included in this study take away 211,000 years of healthy life from the European population under 18 years old, accounting for 2.6% of the total. Air pollution (PM10, PM2.5and ozone) was the most harmful exposure, causing up to 70% of the years of healthy life lost, followed by passive tobacco smoking at 20%.
David Rojas-Rueda, Martine Vrijheid, Oliver Robinson, Aasvang Gunn Marit, Regina Gražulevičienė, Remy Slama, and Mark Nieuwenhuijsen. Environmental Burden of Childhood Disease in Europe. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 26 March 2019. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16061084