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

Related Stories

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

date 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

date 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

Europe's police crack massive horsemeat trafficking ring

date Apr 25, 2015

Police from seven European countries detained 26 people in a crackdown on a horsemeat trafficking ring two years after a tainted meat scandal that rocked the continent, the EU's judicial agency Eurojust said Saturday.

Text messaging useful for reaching 'at-risk' teens about sex

date Apr 24, 2015

Text messaging that connects teens with sexual health educators is effective for delivering sexual health information, according to a recent study in The Edward R. Murrow College of Communication at Washington State University.The ...

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.