A Preliminary Attempt at the Identification and Financial Estimation of the Negative Health Effects of Urban and Industrial Air Pollution Based on the Agglomeration of Gdańsk

Piotr O. Czechowski, Piotr Dąbrowiecki, Aneta Oniszczuk-Jastrząbek, Michalina Bielawska, Ernest Czermański, Tomasz Owczarek, Patrycja Rogula-Kopiec, Artur Badyda

This article marks the first attempt on Polish and European scale to identify the relationship between urban and industrial air pollution and the health conditions of urban populations, while also estimating the financial burden of incidence rates among urban populations for diseases selected in the course of this study as having a causal relation with such incidence. This paper presents the findings of a pilot study based on general regression models, intended to explore air pollutants with a statistically relevant impact on the incidence of selected diseases within the Agglomeration of Gdańsk in the years 2010–2018. In discussing the city’s industrial functions, the study takes into consideration the existence within its limits of a large port that services thousands of ships every year, contributing substantially to the volume of emissions (mainly NOx and PM) to the air. The causes considered include the impact of air pollution, seasonality, land- and sea-based emissions, as well as their mutual interactions. All of the factors and their interactions have a significant impact (p ≤ 0.05) on the incidence of selected diseases in the long term (9 years). The source data were obtained from the Polish National Health Fund (NFZ), the Agency for Regional Monitoring of Atmosphere in the Agglomeration of Gdańsk (ARMAAG), the Chief Inspectorate of Environmental Protection (GIOŚ), and the Port of Gdańsk Harbourmaster. The study used 60 variables representing the diseases, classified into 19 groups. The resulting findings were used to formulate a methodology for estimating the financial burden of the negative health effects of air pollution for the agglomeration, and will be utilized as a reference point for further research in selected regions of Poland.

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