Fine particulate matter (PM2.5) mainly originates from combustion emissions. On-road transportation is considered one of the primary sources of PM2.5 emission. The relationship between on-road transportation and PM2.5 concentration varies temporally and spatially, and the estimation for this variation is important for policymaking. Here, we reveal the quantitative association of PM2.5 concentration with on-road transportation by the spatial panel Durbin model and the geographical and temporal weighted regression. We find that 6.17 billion kilometres (km) per km2 on-road transportation increase is associated with a 1-μg/m3 county-level PM2.5 concentration increase in the contiguous United States. On-road transportation marginally contributes to PM2.5, only 1.09% on average. Approximately 3605 premature deaths are attributed to PM2.5 from on-road transportation in 2010, and about a total of 50,223 premature deaths ascribe to PM2.5 taking 6.49% from 2003 to 2016. Our findings shed light on the necessity of the county-level policies considering the temporal and spatial variability of the relationship to further mitigate PM2.5 from on-road transportation.
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