Effect of the Fine Fraction of Particulate Matter versus the Coarse Mass and Other Pollutants on Daily Mortality in Santiago, Chile

Date of Original Version




Abstract or Description

Daily counts of non-accidental deaths in Santiago, Chile, from 1988 to 1996 were regressed on six air pollutants— fine particles (PM2.5), coarse particles (PM10–2.5), CO, SO2, NO2, and O3. Controlling for seasonal and meteorological conditions was done using three different models— a generalized linear model, a generalized additive model, and a generalized additive model on previously filtered data. Single- and two-pollutant models were tested for lags of 1-5 days and the average of the previous 2-5 days.

The increase in mortality associated with the mean levels of air pollution varied from 4 to 11%, depending on the pollutants and the way season of the year was considered. The results were not sensitive to the modeling approaches, but different effects for warmer and colder months were found. Fine particles were more important than coarse particles in the whole year and in winter, but not in summer. NO2 and CO were also significantly associated with daily mortality, as was O3 in the warmer months. No consistent effect was observed for SO2. Given particle composition in Santiago, these results suggest that combustion-generated pollutants, especially from motor vehicles, may be associated with increased mortality. Temperature was closely associated with mortality. High temperatures led to deaths on the same day, while low temperatures lead to deaths from 1 to 4 days later.




Published In

Journal of the Air & Waste Management Association , 50, 8.