Background: Several international studies show the effects of PM10 pollution on health but specific analyses for many cities in Chile are lacking. Aim: To relate PM10 concentrations to effects with population health and quantify the economic benefits of its reduction in Concepción Metropolitan Area. Material and Methods: Poisson regression and generalized additive models were used to analyze the short-term effects of PM10 on mortality and morbidity, controlling for lags, seasonal, trend and weather variables. The damage function method to determine the economic impact of pollution reduction was used. Results: The selected concentration-response (C-R) coefficients showed that PM10 concentrations had effects on hospital admissions with a two days lag for respiratory diseases in children under 15 years and with a one day lag for asthma in patients over 64 years. The effects on premature mortality had a six days lag. The decrease in 1 µg/m3 of PM10 concentration would generate benefits ranging from 1,025.8 to 32,490.9 million of Chilean pesos per year, with a confidence level of 95%, according the estimation based on concentration-response coefficients and their economic cost. Conclusions: Reduction of PM10 particulate matter would have important health and economic benefits.
Air pollution; Mortality; Particulate matter; PM10; Respiratory disease