Better air quality indicators are needed for the world's cities

In their August editorial, the PLOS Medicine Editors reflect on a recent Policy Forum article by Jason Corburn and Alison Cohen, which describes the need for urban health equity indicators to guide public health policy in cities and urban areas.

The Editors focus on the need for better air quality data for the world's cities because many cities with the worst airborne particulate levels are in low- and middle-income countries and often have limited data. Worryingly, the estimates that 1.34 million premature deaths were at attributable to outdoor air pollution in 2008.

The Editors note that, "for [air quality] indicators to be effective they must be context-specific and relevant, and be made available transparently so that they can be open to interpretation and re-evaluation."

More information: Corburn J, Cohen AK (2012) Why We Need Urban Health Equity Indicators: Integrating Science, Policy, and Community. PLoS Med 9(8): e1001285. doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001285

The PLOS Medicine Editors (2012) The Air That We Breathe: Addressing the Risks of Global Urbanization on Health. PLoS Med 9(8): e1001301. doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001301

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Two-thirds of China's cities fail on air standards

Mar 02, 2012

(AP) -- Two-thirds of China's cities currently fail to meet stricter air quality standards that the government wants to phase in over four years to combat notoriously smoggy skies, a senior Chinese environmental ...

India's air the worst, says annual study

Feb 02, 2012

India has the worst air quality in the world, poorer even than its neighbour China, according to an annual survey based at Yale and Columbia universities in the United States.

Recommended for you

Tooth loss linked to slowing mind and body

6 hours ago

The memory and walking speeds of adults who have lost all of their teeth decline more rapidly than in those who still have some of their own teeth, finds new UCL research.

Hot flashes linked to increased risk of hip fracture

10 hours ago

Women who experience moderate to severe hot flashes and night sweats during menopause tend to have lower bone mineral density and higher rates of hip fracture than peers who do not have menopausal symptoms, according to a ...

Core hospital care team members may surprise you

10 hours ago

Doctors and nurses are traditionally thought to be the primary caretakers of patients in a typical hospital setting. But according to a study at the burn center intensive care unit at Loyola University Health System, three ...

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.