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Sep 2022

New Zealand: Vehicle-generated air pollution found to cause hundreds of premature deaths

Source: Asia Insurance Review | Aug 2022

Human-made air pollution in New Zealand result in an estimated 3,300 deaths each year among people aged 30, according to the findings of the Health and Air Pollution in New Zealand study which were released this month.
 
The study focusses on the health impacts of the two most important air pollutants in New Zealand: Fine particulate matter and nitrogen dioxide. Fine particulate matter (PM2.5) is very small particles in the air, less than 2.5 micrometres in diameter.  The main human-made sources of PM2.5 in New Zealand are domestic fires (wood and coal fires for home heating), motor vehicles, wind-blown dust and industry.  Nitrogen dioxide (NO2) is a gas in the air.  In New Zealand, most human-made NO2 comes from motor vehicles.
 
The research, covering the year 2016, was funded by the Ministry for the Environment, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Transport and NZ Transport Agency. The 3,300 deaths represented about 11% of all deaths in New Zealand in 2016.
 
Motor vehicles were the largest contributor to air pollution health impacts in New Zealand in 2016, with 2,247 deaths.  Most of the motor vehicle-related deaths were due to nitrogen dioxide (NO2) (2,025 deaths), with a smaller number due to PM2.5 (222 deaths). The significant impact due to motor vehicle-related NO2 was a new finding for New Zealand. A 
 
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