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NSW Public Health Bulletin archive

Air quality and chronic disease: why action on climate change is also good for health Volume 21 Issue 5-6

Martine Dennekamp, Marion Carey

New South Wales Public Health Bulletin 21(6) 115–121 Published online: 16 July 2010

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About the author/s

Martine Dennekamp

Marion Carey


There is increasing evidence that air pollution contributes to the burden of chronic disease and premature mortality, particularly from cardiovascular and respiratory causes. Action now urgently required to mitigate climate change has the potential co-benefit of improving air quality and reducing the chronic disease burden. Fossil fuel combustion, primarily from motor vehicles and energy generation, is a major contributor to anthropogenic climate change and air pollution-related health conditions. Action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by improving energy efficiency, departing from carbon-intensive energy generation, facilitating mass transit and active transport options, also has the potential for significant public health benefits.