Air Quality and Human Health among a Low Income Community in the Highveld Priority Area
Keywords:Air quality, respiratory health, Highveld Priority Area
Human exposure to poor air quality is linked to adverse health effects. The largest burden of air pollution-related diseases is in developing countries where air pollution levels are also among the highest in the world. In South Africa, two geographic areas, the Vaal Triangle and the Highveld, have been identified for air quality management
interventions to ensure compliance with National Air Quality Management Standards and to control potential harmful air pollution impacts on human health. The Highveld Priority Area (HPA) is characterised by intense mining, coal-fired power plants, industries, including iron and steel manufacturing, chemical plants, agricultural activity, motor vehicles and domestic fuel burning. Apart from two previous studies, no respiratory health studies have been carried out in the HPA. This paper describes the results of a recent, comprehensive study of ambient air quality, potential exposure to air pollution and air-related human health among a low income community living in the HPA in order to better understand the impact of air pollution on human health in South Africa.
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