Consideration on the health risk reduction related to attainment of the new particulate matter standards in Poland: A top-down policy risk assessment approach
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Medical University of Silesia, Bytom, Poland (School of Public Health)
Silesian University of Technology, Gliwice, Poland (Department of Air Protection)
University of Southern Denmark, Esbjerg, Denmark (Unit for Health Promotion Research)
Corresponding author
Joanna Kobza   

Medical University of Silesia, School of Public Health, Piekarska 18, 41-902 Bytom, Poland
Int J Occup Med Environ Health. 2016;29(1):1-14
Policies can influence health of a population in various ways. Numerous epidemiological studies supported by toxicological investigations demonstrate a positive association between ambient concentrations of airborne particulate matter and increased adverse cardio-respiratory events, including morbidity and mortality. The aim of this paper was to present the concept of the top-down health policy risk assessment approach model developed to estimate the expected health risk reduction associated with policy aiming at attaining the new particulate matter ≤ 10 μm in diameter (PM10) standards in Poland. The top-down approach guides the analysis of causal chains from the policy to health outcomes. In this case study we tried to estimate the predicted health effects of the policy change over the past 20 years. Since Polish annual standard for PM10 changed from 50 μg/m3 in 1990 to 40 μg/m3 in 2010, we calculated the relative risk associated with decreasing PM10 in diameter to 10 μg/m3 in the annual level of PM10 for 6 adverse health effects. The relative risk slightly decreased for almost all adverse health effects, which means that the relative decrease in the incidence of health effects from the baseline incidence should range from about 0.5–0.6% for heart disease admissions to > 1% for respiratory admissions. The obtained results indicate that implementation of the new ambient air standards could influence improvement of the health status of Polish population. A top-down policy health risk assessment model can be one of the main tools in this process, providing harmonized guidance how to seek evidence-based information, which could serve policy-makers.
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