Health Effects of Air Pollution - SO2 5 Sulphur Dioxide

5.1 Pollutant concentration maps

Maps of estimated annual mean background SO2 concentration in Great Britain have been calculated for 1996 and 2005. Full details of the methods used to calculate these maps are given in Abbott and Vincent (1999).

Maps for 1996 were calculated from a combination of dispersion modelling of major point sources (Part A emissions), box modelling of local low level sources and interpolation of the residual rural concentration. A business as usual scenario has been examined for 2005: the emissions projections in this scenario assume a complete upgrade of Part A processes and the implementation of the 'Sulphur content of liquid fuels' EU Directive.

5.2 Health benefits resulting from current policies
The estimated health benefits that are expected to result from the implementation of current national policy measures are listed in Table 5.1. The first column shows the number of deaths or admissions that has been calculated for the individual years for which maps have been calculated. The second column shows the cumulative reduction in deaths or hospital admissions calculated by adding up the marginal benefits between 1996 and 2005. Estimates are shown for both of the scenarios for 2005.

Table 5.1 Numbers of deaths and respiratory hospital admissions after predicted reductions in levels of SO
2 (Great Britain Urban population).
Pollutant Deaths Brought Forward Emergency Respiratory Hospital Admissions (additional or brought forward)
SO2 In named year Total reduction
(from 1996 baseline)
In named year Total reduction
(from 1996 baseline)
1996 3305   2125  
2005a 2620 3405 1690 2195
2005b 1370 9675 880 6230
Values have been rounded to the nearest 5. Sulphur dioxide maps exclude Northern Ireland.

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