Deprived neighbourhoods have higher exposure to air pollution.
posted on: Nov 12, 2007
Findings from a recent study suggest that socially deprived neighbourhoods have higher exposure to air pollution than more affluent areas. Deprivation at both the individual and neighbourhood level is associated with air pollution, accounting for some of the excess mortality associated with air pollution in these neighbourhoods.
The authors state that, ‘it is becoming increasingly evident that exposure to air pollution and its adverse effects are not equitably distributed. Our goal was to investigate the role of social deprivation in explaining the effect of neighbourhood differences in level of air pollution fine particulates (PM2.5) on mortality when the indicators of social deprivation are measured at both individual level and at neighbourhood level.'
All inhabitants registered in Oslo, Norway on 1 January 1992 in the age group 50-74 years (n _ 105,359) formed the study base. The researchers used an air dispersion model (AirQUIS) to estimate levels of exposure in the period 1992-1995 in all 470 administrative neighbourhoods. These data were linked to Census, educational, and death registries. Deaths were recorded in the period 1992-1998.
The study found that PM2.5 was associated with most neighbourhood-level indicators of deprivation, as was most clearly seen for type of dwelling and ownership of dwelling. The effect of PM2.5 on mortality was to some extent explained by these indicators independently of the corresponding individual-level indicators.
The research was conducted by in international team of scientists from the Institute of General Practice and Community Medicine, University of Oslo; Epidemiological Division, National Public Health Institute, Oslo; Department of Social Medicine, University of Bristol, Bristol, United Kingdom; and MRC Social and Public Health Sciences Unit, Scotland.
For more information: