EANET Research Fellowship Programme – Study on the impacts of air pollution transport and its effects to human health in Cambodia

17 February 2021 – Niigata, Japan

The Acid Deposition Monitoring Network in East Asia (EANET)’s fellowship programme aims at funding researchers from the EANET’s Participating Countries to carry out research pertaining to acid deposition at the Network Center in Japan. Kong Savuth, from Cambodia, was awarded the EANET fellowship in 2018. Mr. Savuth’s research described human health effects of exposure to air pollutants, namely, ozone (O3) and particulate matter (PM2.5) in reference to the WHO Air quality guidelines (2005).


Impacts of air pollutants on human health

PM2.5 can penetrate deep inside the lungs and contribute to increasing the risk of cardiovascular and respiratory diseases including lung cancer. According to recent epidemiological studies, reducing the annual average PM2.5 concentrations of 10 μg m-3 could result in a significant reduction of premature mortality.

Ground-level O3 can cause respiratory problems leading to asthma, cough, inflammation of the respiratory tract, chronic bronchitis, and lung damage. A high-level concentration of O3 also causes premature mortality.

WHO estimates that in 2016, some 58% of outdoor air pollution-related premature deaths were due to ischaemic heart disease and strokes, while 18% of deaths were due to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and acute lower respiratory infections respectively, and 6% of deaths were due to lung cancer.



Estimating premature mortality caused by PM2.5 and O3 in Cambodia

The researchers (Savuth and Yamashita) estimated premature mortality caused by the exposure to PM2.5 and O3 in Cambodia by using PM2.5 and O3 data simulated by CMAQ (Community Multiscale Air Quality – a chemical transport model) and Concentration-Response (C-R) functions.


Read the full study and its results, published in the EANET Science Bulletin, Vol 5.


Under the EANET Research Fellowship programme 2018, this study was conducted at the Asia Center for Air Pollution (ACAP), Niigata, Japan. The researcher, Kong Savuth, acknowledged the support and facilities provide by ACAP and by the National Institute for Environmental Studies (NIES), Japan, for performing the research.

Photo credits: Cambodia by Daniel Kirsch, free of the copyright license.