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  Services » Publications » Technical Reports » tr200554

Health Impacts of PM10 Pollution in Hamilton, Tokoroa, Te Kuiti and Taupo: An Assessment of the Health Benefits of Management Options to Reduce PM10

 

Report: TR 2005/54
Author: Emily Wilton, Environet Ltd

Abstract

Concentrations of PM10 measured at Hamilton, Tokoroa, Te Kuiti and Taupo generally exceed the National and Regional Air Quality Guideline for PM10 of 50 µg m-3 (24-hour average) most years during the winter months.

Tokoroa typically experiences the worst air pollution, with PM10 breaches occurring between 15 and 41 occasions per year. The maximum measured PM10 concentration in Tokoroa (97 µg m-3) is also higher than in the other urban areas. Taupo, Te Kuiti and Hamilton generally record fewer breaches (typically 0-12 per location) with maximum concentrations between 60 and 70 µg m-3. Concentrations of PM10 in Tokoroa also exceed the national annual average guideline for PM10 of 20 µg m-3. All locations also fail to meet the National Environmental Standard (NES) for PM10 that allows for one exceedance per year of 50 µg m-3 (24-hour average).

Although the guidelines for PM10 have been set at 50 µg m-3 (24-hour average) and 20 µg m-3 (annual average), PM10 is considered a no threshold contaminant. This means there is no known safe level below which effects will not occur. Thus even at the guideline concentrations, health impacts can occur with exposure to PM10. Concentrations of PM10 measured at Hamilton, Tokoroa, Te Kuiti and Taupo are therefore likely to result in health impacts on residents of these towns.

The types of health impacts associated with exposure to PM10 range from minor nose and throat irritations to more severe effects such as hospital admissions and premature mortality. The elderly and people with pre-existing conditions are more susceptible to health impacts associated with exposure to PM10.

An evaluation of management options to reduce PM10 concentrations has been carried out for Hamilton, Tokoroa, Te Kuiti and Taupo. This indicates a range of measures for achieving reductions in each location and an indication of the impact on PM10 concentrations relative to the NES for PM10. This report evaluates some of the health benefits of these management options in each location.

Table i outlines estimates of mortality likely to occur as a consequence of exposure to PM10. Results indicate that although Tokoroa experiences the worst air quality in the Region, the most effective method for reducing the mortality impacts of PM10 in the Region would be to implement measures to reduce PM10 concentrations in Hamilton.

Health Impacts of PM10 Pollution in Hamilton, Tokoroa, Te Kuiti and Taupo: An Assessment of the Health Benefits of Management Options to Reduce PM10
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Table of Contents

Executive summary iii
1 Introduction 1
1.1 Health impacts of particulate pollution 1
1.2 Health impacts estimates for New Zealand 3
2 Methodology for estimating health benefits 3
2.1 Mortality 3
2.2 Hospitalisations 4
2.3 Restricted activity days 4
3 Health benefits of improving air quality in Tokoroa 5
3.1 Health impacts of existing air quality 5
3.2 Management options for Tokoroa 5
3.3 Health impacts of management measures 6
4 Health benefits of improving air quality in Hamilton 8
4.1 Health impacts of existing air quality 8
4.2 Management options for Hamilton 8
4.3 Health impacts of management measures 9
5 Health benefits of improving air quality in Te Kuiti 11
5.1 Health impacts of existing air quality 11
5.2 Management options for Te Kuiti 12
5.3 Health impacts of management measures 12
6 Health benefits of improving air quality in Taupo 14
6.1 Health impacts of existing air quality 14
6.2 Management options for Taupo 14
6.3 Health impacts of management measures 15
7 Summary 17
References 19
Appendix A: Projections and uncertainty 21
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