Ambient PM<sub>2.5</sub> in China: its negative impacts and possible countermeasures

<p>In the recent decades, China has experienced rapid economic development accompanied by increasing concentrations of ambient PM<sub>2.5</sub>, particulate matter of less than 2.5 micrometers in diameter. PM<sub>2.5</sub> is now believed to be a carcinogen, causing higher lung cancer risks and generating losses to the economy and the society. This meta-analysis evaluates the losses generated by ambient PM<sub>2.5</sub> in Suzhou from 2014–2016, and predicts losses at different concentrations. Estimations of total losses in Beijing, Shanghai, Hangzhou, Guangzhou, Dalian, and Xiamen are also presented, with a total national loss in 2015. We then demonstrated that lowering ambient PM<sub>2.5</sub> concentrations would be a realistic way for China to reduce the evaluated social losses in the short-term. Possible legal measures are listed for lowering ambient PM<sub>2.5</sub> concentrations.</p> <p><i>Implications</i>: Our findings quantify the economic effects of ambient PM2.5 due to the raised incidence rate and mortality rate of lung cancer. Lowering ambient PM2.5 concentrations would be the most realistic way for China to reduce the evaluated social losses in the short-term. Possible legal measures for lowering ambient PM2.5 concentrations to reduce the total losses are identified.</p>