Title: Regionalized life cycle impact assessment of air pollution on the global scale: damage to human health and vegetation
Authors: VAN ZELM RosaliePREISS PhilippVAN GOETHEM ThomasVAN DINGENEN RitaHUIJBREGTS Mark
Citation: ATMOSPHERIC ENVIRONMENT vol. 134 p. 129-137
Publisher: PERGAMON-ELSEVIER SCIENCE LTD
Publication Year: 2016
JRC N°: JRC98795
ISSN: 1352-2310
URI: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1352231016302084
http://publications.jrc.ec.europa.eu/repository/handle/JRC98795
DOI: 10.1016/j.atmosenv.2016.03.044
Type: Articles in periodicals and books
Abstract: We developed regionalized characterization factors (CFs) for human health damage from particulate matter (PM2.5) and ozone, and for damage to vegetation from ozone, at the global scale. These factors can be used in the impact assessment phase of an environmental life cycle assessment.CFs express the overall damage of a certain pollutant per unit of emission of a precursor, i.e. (primary PM2.5, nitrogen oxides (NOx), ammonium (NH3), sulfur dioxide (SO2) and non-methane volatile organic compounds (NMVOC)). The global chemical transport model TM5 was used to calculate intake fractions of PM2.5 and ozone for 56 world regions. Furthermore, regionspecific effect and damage factors were derived, using mortality rates, background concentrations and years of life lost. The emission-weighted world average CF for primary PM2.5 emissions is 629 yr∙kton-1, varying 3 orders of magnitude over the regions. Larger CFs were obtained for emissions in central Asia and Europe, and smaller factors in Australia and South America. The world average CFs for PM2.5 from secondary aerosols, i.e. NOx, NH3, and SO2, is 67.2 to 183.4 yr∙kton-1. We found that the CFs for ozone human health damage are 3 to 4 orders of magnitude lower compared to the CFs for damage due to PM2.5 (precursor) emissions. Human health damage due to the priority air pollutants considered in this study was 1.7∙10-2 yr∙capita-1 worldwide in year 2010, with primary PM2.5 emissions as the main contributor (62%). The emission-weighted world average CF for ecosystem damage due to ozone was 2.5 km2∙yr∙kton-1 for NMVOCs and 8.7 m2∙yr∙kg-1 for NOx emissions, varying 2-3 orders of magnitude over the regions. Ecosystem damage due to the priority air pollutants considered in this study was 1.6∙10-4 km2∙capita-1 worldwide in 2010, with NOx as the main contributor (72%). The spatial range in CFs stresses the importance of including spatial variation in life cycle impact assessment of priority air pollutants. --- We developed regionalized characterization factors (CFs) for human health damage from particulate matter (PM2.5) and ozone, and for damage to vegetation from ozone, at the global scale. These factors can be used in the impact assessment phase of an environmental life cycle assessment. CFs express the overall damage of a certain pollutant per unit of emission of a precursor, i.e. primary PM2.5, nitrogen oxides (NOx), ammonia (NH3), sulfur dioxide (SO2) and non-methane volatile organic compounds (NMVOCs). The global chemical transport model TM5 was used to calculate intake fractions of PM2.5 and ozone for 56 world regions covering the whole globe. Furthermore, region-specific effect and damage factors were derived, using mortality rates, background concentrations and years of life lost. The emission-weighted world average CF for primary PM2.5 emissions is 629 yr kton-1, varying up to 3 orders of magnitude over the regions. Larger CFs were obtained for emissions in central Asia and Europe, and smaller factors in Australia and South America. The world average CFs for PM2.5 from secondary aerosols, i.e. NOx, NH3, and SO2, is 67.2 to 183.4 yr kton1. We found that the CFs for ozone human health damage are 2-4 orders of magnitude lower compared to the CFs for damage due to primary PM2.5 and PM2.5 precursor emissions. Human health damage due to the priority air pollutants considered in this study was 1.7.10-2 yr capita-1 worldwide in year 2010, with primary PM2.5 emissions as the main contributor (62%). The emission-weighted world average CF for ecosystem damage due to ozone was 2.5 km2 yr kton-1 for NMVOCs and 8.7 m2 yr kg-1 for NOx emissions, varying 2-3 orders of magnitude over the regions. Ecosystem damage due to the priority air pollutants considered in this study was 1.6.10-4 km2 capita-1 worldwide in 2010, with NOx as the main contributor (72%). The spatial range in CFs stresses the importance of including spatial variation in life cycle impact assessment of priority air pollutants.
JRC Directorate:Energy, Transport and Climate

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