Exposure to outdoor concentrations of fine particulate matter is considered a leading global health concern, largely based on estimates of excess deaths using information integrating exposure and risk from several particle sources (outdoor and indoor air pollution and passive/active smoking). Such integration requires strong assumptions about equal toxicity per total inhaled dose. We relax these assumptions to build risk models examining exposure and risk information restricted to cohort studies of outdoor air pollution, now covering much of the global concentration range. Our estimates are severalfold larger than previous calculations, suggesting that outdoor particulate air pollution is an even more important population health risk factor than previously thought.

Burnett RT, Chen H, Szyszkowicz M, … Peters PA, … et al. (2018) “Global Mortality and Long-Term Ambient Exposure to Fine Particulate Matter: A New Relative Risk Estimator.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA. 115(38): 9592-9597. https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1803222115