Keywords air pollution Skopje the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia

Keywords air pollution skopje the former yugoslav

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Keywords: air pollution; Skopje; the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia; particulate matter; economic evaluation; burden of disease 1. Introduction Air pollution causes significant health burdens worldwide [ 1 ]. Globally, the World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 3 million premature deaths annually were attributable to ambient air pollution in 2012 [ 2 ]. About 480,000 of those premature deaths are estimated to have occurred in the WHO European Region, comprising 53 countries. The health effects of inhalable particulate matter Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018 , 15 , 626; doi:10.3390/ijerph15040626
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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018 , 15 , 626 2 of 11 (PM) are well documented. There is no evidence of a safe level of PM concentration [ 3 ], and more than 80% of the population in the WHO European Region lives in cities with levels of PM exceeding WHO Air Quality Guidelines [ 4 ]. In 2005, pollution from PM was estimated to reduce the typical life expectancy of an individual in the region by almost 9 months [ 4 ]. The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (hereon MKD), and particularly Skopje—the capital and largest city of the country—have long suffered from poor air quality. In the WHO European region, MKD (37 μ g/m 3 ) ranks third after Bosnia and Herzegovina (42 μ g/m 3 ) and Tajikistan (41 μ g/m 3 ) for the annual population-weighted modelled urban and rural median concentration of PM 2.5 [ 2 ]. In the 20th century Skopje has experienced rapid urbanization, growth of industrial activities, and reconstruction after the 1963 earthquake. With a comparatively large number of industrial point sources and higher traffic flows than other cities in the country, the Skopje agglomeration has historically experienced frequent episodes of heavy pollution [ 5 , 6 ]. During dry periods, the combination of mineral dust and emissions from residential heating, the transport sector, and industrial activities within the city increase the concentrations of inhalable particles [ 7 , 8 ]. Topography and meteorological conditions contribute to poor air quality in Skopje [ 9 ]. The city is situated in a valley and the river Vardar crosses the city, causing high humidity, particularly during the winter [ 10 ]. Additionally, heating facilities increase air pollution in winter [ 11 ]. An atmospheric anticyclone contributes to atmospheric temperature inversion, worsening ambient pollution levels, including particles with an aerodynamic diameter of less than 10 micrometres (PM 10 ) and increasing hospital admissions among patients with cardiovascular diseases. An increase of 10 μ g/m 3 of PM 10 above the currently maximum permitted values in the country (50 μ g/m 3 average over 24 h) increased daily admissions of patients with cardiovascular diseases during 2010 in Skopje by an estimated 12% [ 6 ]. In addition to the human health burden incurred, the morbidity and premature mortality due to air pollution entail significant economic and social costs. These include, but are not limited to, the cost to society of premature deaths, the costs of healthcare for the sick due to poor air quality, and
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  • Fall '18
  • Noor Shah

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