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

Study reveals state of crisis in Canadian foster care system

22 hours ago

A new study of foster care in Canada led by a researcher at Western University reveals a shrinking number of foster care providers are available across the country to care for a growing number of children with increasingly ...

Researchers prove the benefits of persimmons for diet

Oct 24, 2014

Alba Mir and Ana Domingo, researchers from the Department of Analytical Chemistry of the University of Valencia, under the supervision of professors Miguel de la Guardia and Maria Luisa Cervera, from the same department, ...

Hand blenders used for cooking can emit persistent chemicals

Oct 24, 2014

Eight out of twelve tested models of hand blenders are leaking chlorinated paraffins when used according to the suppliers' instructions. This is revealed in a report from Stockholm University where researchers analyzed a ...

User comments