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Air pollution inequality and health inequality in China: An empirical study

Azimi, Mohaddeseh, Feng, Feng, Zhou, Chongyang
Environmental science and pollution research international 2019 v.26 no.12 pp. 11962-11974
air pollution, emissions, empirical research, mortality, nitrogen oxides, public health, regression analysis, sulfur dioxide, sustainable development, tuberculosis, China
China’s residents experience unequal exposure to air pollution in different regions, and the corresponding health consequences have increased remarkably. To ensure sustainable development, China should monitor health inequality and its potential determinants. This study empirically examines the health inequalities (represented by perinatal and tuberculosis mortalities) caused by air pollution inequalities (represented by SO₂ and NOₓ emissions) from 31 Chinese provinces in the period 2006 to 2015, using the generalized method of moments (GMM) and quantile regression (QR). The GMM results reveal a strong positive relationship between SO₂/NOₓ emission inequality and tuberculosis mortality inequality. In contrast, the QR results show that perinatal mortality inequality is closely related to emission inequality across all percentiles for SO₂ emission and at the 75th percentile for NOₓ emission. Our findings help policymakers to identify health disparities and be mindful of air pollution inequality as a factor in the elimination of health inequality.