Premature mortality in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia associated with particulate matter air pollution from the 1991 Gulf War

Ronald H. White, Carl H. Stineman, J. Morel Symons, Patrick N. Breysse, Sung Roul Kim, Michelle L. Bell, Jonathan M. Samet

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The State of Kuwait oil fires and military operations associated with the 1991 Gulf War resulted in substantially increased levels of airborne particulate matter (PM) in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) during 1991 and 1992. Using quantitative risk assessment methodology, this article estimates the increase in premature deaths in citizens of the KSA associated with the Gulf War-related increase in PM air pollution levels. Meta-analysis of daily time-series studies of non-accidental mortality associated with increased PM10 levels using two alternative methodologies yielded exposure-response relative risk functions of 2.7% and 3.5% per 50 g/m3 increase in PM10 concentration. Combining these exposure-response functions with estimates of the magnitude and duration of the increased PM10 exposure, the size of the exposed population and baseline mortality rates provided an estimate of approximately 1,080 to 1,370 excess non-accidental deaths of Saudi citizens during 1991-1992 associated with the Gulf War-related increase in PM levels.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)645-664
Number of pages20
JournalHuman and Ecological Risk Assessment
Volume14
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2008

Keywords

  • Gulf War
  • Mortality
  • Particulate matter
  • Risk assessment
  • Saudi Arabia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecological Modeling
  • Pollution
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

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