Original Research

Long-term health and economic impacts of air pollution in Greater Geneva


Introduction: We estimated the health and economic impacts of chronic exposure to air pollution for the Swiss part of the Greater Geneva area from 2016 to 2018.
Materials and methods: We extracted from fine-scale modelled concentration maps for two pollutant indicators, particulate matter PM2.5 and nitrogen dioxide. Then, we performed a quantitative health impact assessment of the health burden attributable to anthropogenic-origin air pollution, and estimated the benefits of compliance with the federal Ordinance on Air Pollution Control (OAPC) limit values. Finally, we computed the economic impacts of these health effects.
Results: Exposure to fine particles of anthropogenic origin was responsible for 7.5% of annual mortality (280 deaths or 5,900 life years lost), for 14 lung cancers and for 68 strokes annually in the Canton of Geneva. Compliance with the OAPC limit value of 10 µg/mas an annual average would reduce annual mortality by 1.5% (62 deaths avoided or 1,300 life years gained). Exposure to anthropogenic-origin NOwas associated with 5.3% of annual deaths (approximately 200 deaths per year). The estimated total negative economic impacts of anthropogenic-origin fine particles were at least CHF2017 1.3 billion per year, whereas compliance with the OAPC limit values would result in annual economic benefits of at least CHF2017 290 million.
Conclusion: We confirmed that air quality remains a health issue on which stakeholder mobilisation is vital. Action plans should tackle emissions from freight and personal mobility, heating, industry and agriculture, while seeking to improve knowledge on health risks from air pollution exposure.

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IssueVol 8 No 2 (2023): Spring 2023 QRcode
SectionOriginal Research
DOI https://doi.org/10.18502/japh.v8i2.12914
Quantitative health impact assessment; Mortality; Morbidity; Economic assessment; Switzerland

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Cucchi I, Chanel O. Long-term health and economic impacts of air pollution in Greater Geneva. JAPH. 2023;8(2):135-156.