Reducing mortality risk by targeting specific air pollution sources: Suva, Fiji

C. F. Isley*, P. F. Nelson, M. P. Taylor, E. Stelcer, A. J. Atanacio, D. D. Cohen, F. S. Mani, M. Maata

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    18 Citations (Scopus)


    Health implications of air pollution vary dependent upon pollutant sources. This work determines the value, in terms of reduced mortality, of reducing ambient particulate matter (PM2.5: effective aerodynamic diameter 2.5 μm or less) concentration due to different emission sources. Suva, a Pacific Island city with substantial input from combustion sources, is used as a case-study. Elemental concentration was determined, by ion beam analysis, for PM2.5 samples from Suva, spanning one year. Sources of PM2.5 have been quantified by positive matrix factorisation. A review of recent literature has been carried out to delineate the mortality risk associated with these sources. Risk factors have then been applied for Suva, to calculate the possible mortality reduction that may be achieved through reduction in pollutant levels. Higher risk ratios for black carbon and sulphur resulted in mortality predictions for PM2.5 from fossil fuel combustion, road vehicle emissions and waste burning that surpass predictions for these sources based on health risk of PM2.5 mass alone. Predicted mortality for Suva from fossil fuel smoke exceeds the national toll from road accidents in Fiji. The greatest benefit for Suva, in terms of reduced mortality, is likely to be accomplished by reducing emissions from fossil fuel combustion (diesel), vehicles and waste burning.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)450-461
    Number of pages12
    JournalScience of the Total Environment
    Publication statusPublished - 15 Jan 2018


    • black carbon
    • fossil fuel
    • health risk
    • PM components
    • road vehicles


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