Present and Potential Future Contributions of Ship Emissions to Air Quality and Human Health in the Pearl River Delta (PRD) region, China translation missing: es.hyrax.visibility.toc_restricted.text

Chen, Chen (Fall 2018)

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Ship emissions have been found to contribute to air pollution, potentially increasing the adverse health impacts of people living in coastal cities. I estimated the impacts caused by ship emissions, both on air quality and human health, in the present (2015) and future (2030) within the Pearl River Delta (PRD) region, China. In addition, I assessed the potential health benefits from implementing the Emission Control Area (ECA) policy in the region by predicting the avoided mortality, compared to the Business As Usual (BAU) scenario.

The PRD is a highly populated area with over 85 million people in 2015. Also, as one of the biggest port clusters in the world, 11.3, 89.5 and 141.9 kt/yr of PM2.5, SO2 and NOx, respectively, are emitted within the 200 nautical mile (nm) coastline region. I found that these emissions increased PM2.5 concentrations and O3 mixing ratios by 1.1 μg/m3 and 1.62 ppb, respectively, within the PRD. The health impacts from the ship emissions should not be neglected as about 155 and 115 excess acute mortality incidences are expected due to ship- related PM2.5 and O3 increase, respectively. Chronic mortality was more significant with 2,349 and 994 mortality incidences due to ship-related PM2.5 and O3, respectively.

In 2030, I projected the future ship emissions under the BAU and ECA scenarios. I predicted 84% reductions for SO2 and 13% for NOx emissions if ECA was implemented and found that this could avoid 1,044 and 143 deaths compared to the BAU scenario. The ship-induced mortality for PM2.5 and O3 would be reduced by 68% and 14% respectively if ECA was implemented, with a net reduction of 47% for the two pollutants combined. The health impacts due to ship emissions are non-negligible and an ECA implementation in the PRD region could notably prevent significant mortality. 

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