Estimating exposure-response functions: transport

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The text on this page is taken from an equivalent page of the IEHIAS-project.

As part of the EU-funded INTARESE project, which contributed to the development of this Toolbox, a series of case studies was undertaken to assess health effects associated with different transport initiatives, in different cities (The Hague, Rome, London, Barcelona, Helsinki).

Bike and bus.jpg

To assess health impacts of transport policies in the various case studies, selected exposure response functions were developed for three important stressors: air pollution, noise and physical activity. Different methods were used for each key pathway, reflecting the differing levels of development of the science.

  1. For air pollution two reviews were undertaken:
    • a systematic review to develop ERF for long-term exposure, and
    • a semi-systematic review for short-term effects which were considered of likely lower importance for the overall assessment.
  2. For noise, an evalution was made of previous reviews of the literature and from this the most appropriate ERFs for the assessment were selected. This included an evaluation of how much evidence was available for various health outcomes that are potentially associated with traffic noise.
  3. For physical activity, existing reviews of the literature on health effects of physical activity were used. The main goal was to quantify the benefits of cycling versus car driving. Results from three cohort studies that explicitly evaluated the effects of active transport for commuting purposes on mortality rates were therefore additionally used.

Results of these assessments are described in detail in the appendices from the case study reports on benefits and risks of cycling, which can be downloaded below. Further information is also available in de Hartog et al. (2010).

In the case study in Rome, benefits of the policy in different socio-economic groups of the population were also evaluated. For this purpose, an assessment was made to determine whether there was sufficient information to derive specific ERFs for low, medium and high socio-economic status (SES) groups. The summary CRFs expressed per 10 µg/m3 for PM2.5 are 1.10 (95%CI:1.05-1.16), 1.08 (95%CI:1.03-1.13) and 1.05 (95%CI:1.02-1.09) for the low, average and high SES categories respectively.


See also

Integrated Environmental Health Impact Assessment System
IEHIAS is a website developed by two large EU-funded projects Intarese and Heimtsa. The content from the original website was moved to Opasnet.
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