Revealing the air pollution burden associated with internal Migration in Peru

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Carrasco-Escobar G.
Schwarz L.
Miranda J.J.
Benmarhnia T.
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Nature Research
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This study aims to quantify changes in outdoor (ambient) air pollution exposure from different migration patterns within Peru and quantify its effect on premature mortality. Data on ambient fine particulate matter (PM2.5) was obtained from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). Census data was used to calculate rates of within-country migration at the district level. We calculated differences in PM2.5 exposure between “current” (2016–2017) and “origin” (2012) districts for each migration patterns. Using an exposure-response relationship for PM2.5 extracted from a meta-analysis, and mortality rates from the Peruvian Ministry of Health, we quantified premature mortality attributable to each migration pattern. Changes in outdoor PM2.5 exposure were observed between 2012 and 2016 with highest levels of PM2.5 in the Department of Lima. A strong spatial autocorrelation of outdoor PM2.5 values (Moran’s I = 0.847, p-value=0.001) was observed. In Greater Lima, rural-to-urban and urban-to-urban migrants experienced 10-fold increases in outdoor PM2.5 exposure in comparison with non-migrants. Changes in outdoor PM2.5 exposure due to migration drove 137.1 (95%CI: 93.2, 179.4) premature deaths related to air pollution, with rural-urban producing the highest risk of mortality from exposure to higher levels of ambient air pollution. Our results demonstrate that the rural-urban and urban-urban migrant groups have higher rates of air pollution-related deaths. © 2020, The Author(s).
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Transients and Migrants, Air Pollution, Humans, Particulate Matter, Peru