Ambient fine particulate matter in China: Its negative impacts and possible countermeasures

<p>In 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 μm 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 society. This meta-analysis evaluates the losses generated by ambient PM<sub>2.5</sub> in Suzhou from 2014 to 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. The authors then demonstrate 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>: The present findings quantify the economic effects of ambient PM<sub>2.5</sub> due to the increased incidence rate and mortality rate of lung cancer. Lowering ambient PM<sub>2.5</sub> concentrations would be the most realistic way for China to reduce tghe evaluated social losses in the short term. Possible legal measures for lowering ambient PM<sub>2.5</sub> concentrations to reduce the total losses are identified.</p>