An empirical model for estimating census unit population exposure in areas lacking air quality monitoring

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Abstract

This study presents the methods and results of part of the HAPiNZ (Health and Air Pollution in New Zealand) study. A part of this project was to produce accurate measures of pollution exposure for the entire population of New Zealand living in urban areas. Suitable data are limited in most parts of New Zealand with some areas having no monitoring at all. As a result, this project has developed an empirical model to estimate annual exposure values for the whole country down to the census area unit level. This uses surrogate emission indicators and meteorological variables. Data sources used include census data on domestic heating, industrial emissions estimates, vehicle kilometres travelled and meteorological measurements. These were used to calculate annual exposure estimates and were then compared to monitored data for the areas where monitoring data were available. Results show a good association between the model estimates and the monitored data, enabling advanced health effects assessments for the country's entire urban population.

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