Science Inventory

Modeling future asthma attributable to fine particulate matter (PM2.5) in a changing climate: a health impact assessment.


Nassikas, N., E. Chan, C. Nolte, H. Roman, N. Micklewhite, K. Patrick, E. Carter, AND N. Fann. Modeling future asthma attributable to fine particulate matter (PM2.5) in a changing climate: a health impact assessment. Air Quality, Atmosphere & Health. Springer Netherlands, , Netherlands, , 1-9, (2022).


We estimate substantial increases in childhood incident asthma and inhaler use attributable to PM2.5 by late century compared to early century under multiple climate models and air pollution emissions assumptions, costing billions of dollars per year.


Exposure to fine particulate matter (PM2.5) is associated with asthma development as well as asthma exacerbation in children. PM2.5 can be directly emitted or can form in the atmosphere from pollutant precursors. PM2.5 emitted and formed in the atmosphere is influenced by meteorology; future changes in climate may alter the concentration and distribution of PM2.5. Our aim is to estimate the future burden of climate change and PM2.5 on new and exacerbated cases of childhood asthma. Projected concentrations of PM2.5 are based on the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory Coupled Model version 3 climate model, the Representative Concentration Pathway 8.5 greenhouse gas scenario, and two air pollution emissions datasets: a 2011 emissions dataset and a 2040 emissions dataset that reflects substantial reductions in emissions of PM2.5 as compared to the 2011 inventory. We estimate additional PM2.5-attributable asthma as well as PM2.5-attributable albuterol inhaler use for four future years (2030, 2050, 2075, and 2095) relative to the year 2000. Exacerbations, regardless of the trigger, are counted as attributable to PM2.5 if the incident disease is attributable to PM2.5. We project 38 thousand (95% CI 36, 39 thousand) additional PM2.5-attributable incident childhood asthma cases and 29 million (95% CI 27, 31 million) additional PM2.5-attributable albuterol inhaler uses per year in 2030, increasing to 200 thousand (95% CI 190, 210 thousand) additional incident cases and 160 million (95% CI 150, 160 million) inhaler uses per year by 2095 relative to 2000 under the 2011 emissions dataset. These additional PM2.5-attributable incident asthma cases and albuterol inhaler use would cost billions of additional U.S. dollars per year by the late century. These outcomes could be mitigated by reducing air pollution emissions.

Record Details:

Product Published Date:01/10/2022
Record Last Revised:02/01/2022
OMB Category:Other
Record ID: 354032