GeLuft - Quantification of health benefits of the new Air Quality Guidelines of the World Health Organisation in Switzerland

In Switzerland, the outdoor air pollution of various air pollutants is regulated by immission limit values in the Ordinance on Air Pollution Control (OAPC). The current limit values of the OAPC are in line with the Air Quality Guidelines of the World Health Organisation (WHOAQG in English) of 2005. In 2021, the WHO-AQG values were updated and tightened based on new evidence from the scientific literature. This means that the limit values in the Swiss OAPC no longer correspond to the WHO recommendations.
Updating the Swiss LRV with the new WHO AQG from 2021 would bring additional health benefits. To quantify these health benefits, specific health impact assessments can be carried out. For this purpose, the Swiss exposure data for selected air pollutants, mortality data and incidence data for and incidence data for the selected diseases as well as the corresponding exposure-response relationships from the epidemiological literature.
The aim of the present project is to calculate the health benefits (including mortality and morbidity) of WHO AQG levels in Switzerland. The focus of the study is on PM2.5 and NO2 as air pollution indicators. The health benefits of WHO AQG values are compared for two different scenarios:
1. exposure values of the year 2019
2. current limit values of the OAPC

Castro A, Kutlar Joss M, Röösli M. Quantifizierung des Gesundheitsnutzens der neuen Luftqualitätsleitlinien der Weltgesundheitsorganisation in der Schweiz: Projekt GeLuft, Projektbericht. Bern: Bundesamt für Umwelt (BAFU), 2023. DOI: 10.5451/unibas-ep96243

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