Protecting Human Health From Air Pollution: Shifting From a Single-pollutant to a Multipollutant Approach


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Abstract

To date, the assessment of public health consequences of air pollution has largely focused on a single-pollutant approach aimed at estimating the increased risk of adverse health outcomes associated with the exposure to a single air pollutant, adjusted for the exposure to other air pollutants. However, air masses always contain many pollutants in differing amounts, depending on the types of emission sources and atmospheric conditions. Because humans are simultaneously exposed to a complex mixture of air pollutants, many organizations have encouraged moving towards “a multipollutant approach to air quality.” Although there is general agreement that multipollutant approaches are desirable, the challenges of implementing them are vast.

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