Acute mortality effects of carbon monoxide in the Pearl River Delta of China

Yebin Tao, Liuju Zhong, Xiaoliang Huang, Shou En Lu, Yi Li, Lingzhen Dai, Yuanhang Zhang, Tong Zhu, Wei Huang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Objectives: Several studies reported acute mortality and morbidity effects of exposure to carbon monoxide (CO); which, however, has been least studied in Chinese population at regional scale. Methods: We conducted a time-series analysis assessing mortality effects of CO in four cities located in the Pearl River Delta (PRD) of China, a labor and resource intensive city cluster, using daily mortality and air pollution data (2006-2008). Generalized linear model with Poisson regression incorporating natural spline functions was used to analyze the effects of exposure to ambient CO on total (nonaccidental), cardiovascular and respiratory mortality. Effect estimates were determined first for individual cities, and then focused for the mega-city Guangzhou. Results: We found exposure to CO was significantly associated with increased mortality in the mega-city of Guangzhou and medium-sized industrial city of Foshan. In specific, per 0.5. ppm increase in the average lag 1-2 (previous two days) exposure to CO was associated with 3.04% [95% confidence interval (CI), 2.18-3.90%], 3.62% (95% CI, 2.20-5.06%) and 3.72% (95% CI, 1.71-5.76%) increases in excessive risks (ERs) of total, cardiovascular and respiratory mortality, in Guangzhou. Further, we observed significant heterogeneity in mortality effects of exposure to CO among the four PRD cities of different development levels: stronger mortality effects were found in larger, more developed and industrialized cities. Conclusions: Exposure to ambient CO is associated with significant increases in total, cardiovascular and respiratory mortality in Chinese population. CO is an established biologic toxicant, whereas the effects and possible mechanisms of exposure to ambient level of CO and co-pollutants warrant further investigation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)34-40
Number of pages7
JournalScience of the Total Environment
StatePublished - Dec 1 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution


  • CO
  • Excess risk
  • Mortality
  • PRD
  • Time series

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Acute mortality effects of carbon monoxide in the Pearl River Delta of China'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this