Hidden Cost of U.S. Agricultural Exports: Particulate Matter from Ammonia Emissions

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Hidden Cost of U.S. Agricultural Exports: Particulate Matter from Ammonia Emissions

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Title: Hidden Cost of U.S. Agricultural Exports: Particulate Matter from Ammonia Emissions
Author: Paulot, Fabien; Jacob, Daniel James

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Citation: Paulot, Fabien, and Daniel James Jacob. 2014. Hidden Cost of U.S. Agricultural Exports: Particulate Matter from Ammonia Emissions. Environmental Science & Technology 48, no. 2: 903–908. doi:10.1021/es4034793
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Abstract: We use a model of agricultural sources of ammonia \((NH_3)\) coupled to a chemical transport model to estimate the impact of U.S. food export on particulate matter concentrations \((PM_{2.5})\). We find that food export accounts for 11% of total U.S. \(NH_3\) emissions (13% of agricultural emissions) and that it increases the population-weighted exposure of the U.S. population to \(PM_{2.5}\) by \(0.36 \mu g m^{–3}\) on average. Our estimate is sensitive to the proper representation of the impact of \(NH_3\) on ammonium nitrate, which reflects the interplay between agricultural \((NH_3)\) and combustion emissions \((NO, SO_2)\). Eliminating \(NH_3\) emissions from food export would achieve greater health benefits than the reduction of the National Ambient Air Quality Standards for \(PM_{2.5}\) from \(15 to 12 \mu g m^{–3}\). Valuation of the increased premature mortality associated with \(PM_{2.5}\) from food export (36 billion US$ (2006) per year) amounts to 50% of the gross food export value. Livestock operations in densely populated areas have particularly large health costs. Decreasing \(SO_2\) and \(NO_x\) emissions will indirectly reduce health impact of food export as an ancillary benefit.
Published Version: doi:10.1021/es4034793
Citable link to this page: http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:33490693
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