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Journal Article

The contribution of the Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei region's iron and steel industry to local air pollution in winter


Tao,  Wei
Multiphase Chemistry, Max Planck Institute for Chemistry, Max Planck Society;

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Yang, H., Tao, W., Liu, Y., Qiu, M., Liu, J., Jiang, K., et al. (2019). The contribution of the Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei region's iron and steel industry to local air pollution in winter. Environmental Pollution, 245, 1095-1106. doi:10.1016/j.envpol.2018.11.088.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0003-036D-0
The Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei region (BTH) in China is a highly populated area that has recently experienced frequent haze episodes in winter. With high production capacities, the iron and steel industry (ISI) has long been a key source of air pollutants in BTH and is thus considered responsible for the degradation of local air quality. Here, we conducted a cross-disciplinary research combining the Weather Research and Forecasting with Chemistry (WRF/Chem) model, the multiregional input-output model (MRIO) and the health assessment model to explore the impacts of the ISI on air pollution in the BTH region in January 2012. Our results show large increases in air pollution due to direct ISI emissions, with up to a 90 μg/m3 monthly average of fine particulate matter (PM2.5) and sulfur dioxide (SO2) in eastern Tangshan and western Handan. In addition to direct emissions, the ISI has induced large quantities of indirect emissions from upstream sectors (e.g., the electricity and transportation sectors), leading to PM2.5, SO2 and NOx increases of 2–10 μg/m3 in BTH. Considering the direct and indirect emissions, we estimated that 275 (233–313) PM2.5-related mortalities occurred in January, and approximately 42% of these premature deaths occurred in Tangshan. A high rate of premature deaths also occurred in urban Beijing due to its high population density. Revealing the great health burden caused by the ISI, our results underscore the necessity for the Chinese government to reduce air pollutant emissions from the ISI and its upstream industries in BTH.