Spatial Variability of the Relationship between Air Pollution and Well-being

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19 Citations (Scopus)


Air pollution has become one of the most severe and prevalent environmental issues worldwide because millions of deaths are caused by air pollution per year. Air pollution adversely affects emotions, physical health, mental health, and ultimately human well-being. However, it is difficult to quantify the relationships between human well-being and air pollutants, including sulfur dioxide (SO2), nitrogen oxide (NOX), and fine particulate matter (PM2.5). Furthermore, whether the current concentrations of air pollution affect humans’ attitudes toward air pollution remains unclear. Here, we show SO2, NOx, and PM2.5 are negatively associated with human well-being, based on the analyses with 246,782, 334,065, and 300,796 observations, respectively. On average, a 1-unit reduction of SO2, NOX, and PM2.5 are worth 1,510 USD, 1217 USD, 7,111 USD per capita, respectively. Additionally, humans perceive the air pollution severity to some degree, rather than accurately and absolutely, proved by the correlations between the concentrations of air pollutants and their effects estimated by geographically weighted regression. Our study illustrates the impacts of air pollution on human well-being, their spatial variability, and their monetary value to arouse the attention of governments and society.

Original languageEnglish
Article number103447
JournalSustainable Cities and Society
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Transportation


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