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Impacts of air pollution and health by changing commuting from car to bicycle
Department of Environmental Science and Analytical Chemistry, Stockholm University, SE-10691 Stockholm, Sweden.
Environment and Health Administration, SLB, Stockholm, Sweden.
Swedish School of Sport and Health Sciences, GIH, Department of Sport and Health Sciences, Åstrand Laboratory of Work Physiology, The Research Unit for Movement, Health and Environment.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-3547-425X
Swedish School of Sport and Health Sciences, GIH, Department of Sport and Health Sciences, Åstrand Laboratory of Work Physiology, The Research Unit for Movement, Health and Environment.
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2017 (English)In: Science of the Total Environment, ISSN 0048-9697, E-ISSN 1879-1026, Vol. 584-585, 55-63 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Our study is based on individual data on people’s home and work addresses, as well as their age, sex and physical capacity, in order to establish realistic bicycle-travel distances. A transport model is used to single out data on commuting preferences in the County Stockholm. Our analysis shows there is a very large potential for reducing emissions and exposure if all car drivers living within a distance corresponding to a maximum of a 30 minute bicycle ride to work would change to commuting by bicycle. It would result in more than 111 000 new cyclists, corresponding to an increase of 209% compared to the current situation.

Mean population exposure would be reduced by about 7% for both NOx and black carbon (BC) in the most densely populated area of the inner city of Stockholm. Applying a relative risk for NOx of 8% decrease in all-cause mortality associated with a 10 µg m-3 decrease in NOx, this corresponds to more than 449 (95% CI: 340 - 558) years of life saved annually for the Stockholm county area with 2.1 million inhabitants. This is more than double the effect of the reduced mortality estimated for the introduction of congestion charge in Stockholm in 2006. Using NO2 or BC as indicator of health impacts, we obtain 395 (95% CI: 172 - 617) and 185 (95% CI: 158 - 209) years of life saved for the population, respectively. The calculated exposure of BC and its corresponding impacts on mortality are likely underestimated. With this in mind the estimates using NOx, NO2 and BC show quite similar health impacts considering the 95% confidence intervals.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2017. Vol. 584-585, 55-63 p.
Keyword [en]
air pollution, vehicle emissions, road traffic, human helath, population exposure, mortality, cycling
National Category
Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology Environmental Sciences
Research subject
Medicine/Technology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:gih:diva-4728DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2017.01.145ISI: 000399358500007OAI: oai:DiVA.org:gih-4728DiVA: diva2:1067682
Projects
FAAP
Funder
Forte, Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare, 2012-1296
Available from: 2017-01-23 Created: 2017-01-23 Last updated: 2017-05-16Bibliographically approved

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