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Impact on Population Health of Baltic Shipping Emissions

Journal article
Authors Lars Barregård
Peter Molnár
J. E. Jonson
Leo Stockfelt
Published in International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Volume 16
Issue 11
ISSN 1660-4601
Publication year 2019
Published at Institute of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Community Medicine, Section of Occupational and environmental medicine
Language en
Keywords air pollution, shipping, Baltic Sea, SECA, health effects, mortality, ischemic heart disease, stroke, long-term exposure, particulate matter, air-pollution, mortality, model, Environmental Sciences & Ecology, Public, Environmental & Occupational, Health
Subject categories Environmental medicine


Emission of pollutants from shipping contributes to ambient air pollution. Our aim was to estimate exposure to particulate air pollution (PM2.5) and health effects from shipping in countries around the Baltic Sea, as well as effects of the sulfur regulations for fuels enforced in 2015 by the Baltic Sulfur Emission Control Area (SECA). Yearly PM2.5 emissions, from ship activity data and emission inventories in 2014 and 2016, were estimated. Concentrations and population exposure (0.1 degrees x 0.1 degrees) of PM2.5 were estimated from a chemical transport mode, meteorology, and population density. Excess mortality and morbidity were estimated using established exposure-response (ER) functions. Estimated mean PM2.5 per inhabitant from Baltic shipping was 0.22 mu g/m(3) in 2014 in ten countries, highest in Denmark (0.57 mu g/m(3)). For the ER function with the steepest slope, the number of estimated extra premature deaths was 3413 in total, highest in Germany and lowest in Norway. It decreased by about 35% in 2016 (after SECA), a reduction of >1000 cases. In addition, 1500 non-fatal cases of ischemic heart disease and 1500 non-fatal cases of stroke in 2014 caused by Baltic shipping emissions were reduced by the same extent in 2016. In conclusion, PM2.5 emissions from Baltic shipping, and resulting health impacts decreased substantially after the SECA regulations in 2015.

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