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The “co-benefits” of reducing air pollution on climate change and human health
The study by Ko et al1 in this issue of Thorax (see page 779) provides an important new contribution to the growing body of evidence that the severe adverse health effects of air pollution, so well documented in Europe and North America, are also occurring in Asia. Indeed, a recent report by the Health Effects Institute (HEI) surveyed the available published literature on this topic as part of its Public Health and Air Pollution in Asia-Science Access on the Net (PAPA-SAN) study. They found hundreds of published studies showing adverse health effects of air pollution in Asia and summarised the results on the web (http://www.healtheffects.org/Asia/papasan-home.htm). These results show that a wide range of health effects are significantly associated with air pollution exposures in Asia, including studies of respiratory and cardiovascular morbidity and mortality in a number of cities across Asia. In fact, the HEI report identified 69 published studies of the effects of air pollution on the health of populations in Mainland China, 16 in Hong Kong, 56 in Taipei, China, 8 in Indonesia, 2 in Malaysia, 6 in Singapore, 13 in Thailand, …