New Zealand's Environment Reporting Series: The Ministry for the Environment and Statistics New Zealand
PM10 (particulate matter less than 10 micrometres in diameter) comprises solid and liquid particles in the air. PM10 can be inhaled and the largest particles in this size fraction are deposited in the upper airways, while the smaller ones can deposit deep in the lungs. Children, the elderly, and people with existing heart or lung problems have a higher risk of health effects from PM10 exposure. Health effects include decreased lung function or heart attack, and mortality. We report on the modelled number of premature deaths for adults (30+ years), hospitalisations, and restricted activity days for people of all ages for years 2006 and 2016 only. The model only includes impacts that result from exposure to PM10 that comes from human activities. We focus on PM10 from human activities because these sources can be managed, unlike PM from natural sources such as sea salt. • Premature deaths are those, often preventable, occurring before a person reaches the age they could be expected to live to. • Hospitalisations relate to those for respiratory and cardiac illnesses (not including cases leading to premature death). • Restricted activity days occur when symptoms are sufficient to limit usual activities such as work or study. These days aren’t shared evenly across the population – people with asthma or other respiratory conditions would likely have more restricted activity days. More information on this dataset and how it relates to our environmental reporting indicators and topics can be found in the attached data quality pdf.