Air Domain Report - Estimated health impacts from exposure to PM10 2006 and 2012

Ministry for the Environment


Source: National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research

From 2014 Air domain report for the Ministry for the Environment by Statistics New Zealand

Indicator: National-level health impacts due to exposure to PM10

Related topic: Public health effects (impact)

Indicator definition: The estimated number of premature deaths, hospitalisations, and restricted activity days for the New Zealand population from exposure to sources of PM10 from human activities.

Background: Exposure to PM10 is linked to adverse health effects such as lung and heart conditions. Estimates can be made on the impact exposure to PM10 is having on the health of New Zealanders. Tracking these estimates over time shows whether population health impacts due to PM10 concentrations from human activities are improving or worsening.

Presentation of indicator components:
Estimated number of premature deaths due to PM10 exposure.

Estimated number of hospitalisations due to PM10 exposure.

Estimated number of restricted activity days due to PM10 exposure.

Methodology: Heath impacts due to air pollution are estimated by determining the concentrations of the pollutant the population is exposed to and the probability of health risks after exposure to concentrations of that pollutant.

Information on the PM10 concentrations the population is exposed to comes from regional council and unitary authority monitoring stations data and the census.

Dose response functions are calculated from international and national epidemiological studies.

The focus is on anthropogenic (human-made) sources of PM10 as these sources can be managed and abated. Information on the anthropogenic component of PM10 comes from GNS Science.

Health effects from PM2.5 exposure are not measured as there is insufficient monitoring information to do so.

Data for 2006 are based on monitoring data from 2006 to 2008, while 2012 data are based on monitoring data from 2010 to 2012. The time period reflects the year of the census or the closest to it for which monitoring data is included. Results are based on the average concentration over a three-year period. This provides an indicative estimate of the long-term health effects by smoothing out short-term extremes caused, for example, by a particularly warm or cold winter.

See NIWA’s Indicators for Environmental Domain Reporting report for more information.

The model is available from the Health and Air Pollution in New Zealand website.

Data coverage: National (2006, 2012)

Data source:
Health and air pollution in New Zealand model, 2012 (model framework).

Regional councils and unitary authorities (PM10 monitoring data).

Census (population estimates).

GNS Science (natural PM10 concentrations).

Limitations to data and analysis: Concentrations of PM10 are imputed in census area units where monitoring has not occurred.

Location-specific anthropogenic PM10 component information was applied where available. For other locations, a national average anthropogenic component estimate (based on the location-specific information) was used.

The most relevant dose response functions based on national and international studies are used.

The base incidence rates for health outcomes were not updated as new data was not available. This is expected to have a minor impact on the results – an increase or decrease in premature mortality and hospitalisations by approximately 1.5 percent. Restricted activity days are not influenced by base incidence rates.

See NIWA’s Indicators for Environmental Domain Reporting report for more information.

Additional information to understand the link between the topic and the indicator: The estimates reflect only the public health effects of PM10 from human activities and do not show the effects of other pollutants that have adverse health effects. Therefore, this indicator understates the total effect of air quality on public health.

Changes to time series: The sample includes monitoring sites achieving 75 percent valid data. The sample of monitoring sites varies year to year, with additional sites included if best practice approaches are followed, or omitted if not of adequate standard.


Detailed definitions can be found here:

Data provided by

Ministry for the Environment

Dataset name

Environmental Reporting: Air Domain Report 2014


How to find the data

At URL provided, download 'Excel files'

Import & extraction details

File as imported: Environmental Reporting: Air Domain Report 2014

From the dataset Environmental Reporting: Air Domain Report 2014, this data was extracted:

  • Sheet: Table 19
  • Range: C10:D12
  • Provided: 6 data points

Dataset originally released on:

May 16, 2014

Purpose of collection

The Ministry for the Environment and Statistics New Zealand commissioned NIWA to produce a report that provides information for New Zealand’s Environmental Reporting Series: 2014 Air domain report. This report provides the methodology and results for the national air domain indicators – on-road vehicle emissions, annual average PM10, and health impacts due to exposure to PM10. It also includes information on natural sources of pollutants, and the influence of meteorological conditions on air quality.