Estimating the health impact of air pollution in Scotland, and the resulting benefits of reducing concentrations in city centres

Duncan Lee, Chris Robertson, Colin Ramsay, Colin Gillespie, Gary Napier

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)
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Air pollution continues to be a key health issue in Scotland, despite recent improvements in concentrations. The Scottish Government published the Cleaner Air For Scotland strategy in 2015, and will introduce Low Emission Zones (LEZs) in the four major cities (Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh and Glasgow) by 2020. However, there is no epidemiological evidence quantifying the current health impact of air pollution in Scotland, which this paper addresses. Additionally, we estimate the health benefits of reducing concentrations in city centres where most LEZs are located. We focus on cardio-respiratory disease and total non-accidental mortality outcomes, linking them to concentrations of both particulate (PM 10 and PM 2.5 ) and gaseous (NO 2 and NO x ) pollutants. Our two main findings are that: (i) all pollutants exhibit significant associations with respiratory disease but not cardiovascular disease; and (ii) reducing concentrations in city centres with low resident populations only provides a small health benefit.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)85-96
Number of pages12
JournalSpatial and Spatio-temporal Epidemiology
Early online date9 Apr 2019
Publication statusPublished - 30 Jun 2019


  • air pollution
  • cardio-respiratory disease
  • epidemiological modelling

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