Assessing the relationship among urban… | Healthy Trees, Healthy Lives

Assessing the relationship among urban trees, nitrogen dioxide and respiratory health

This study suggests the potential of an urban forest to reduce the air pollutant NO2 and hence provide health benefits on the order of millions of dollars due to the reduced incidence of respiratory problems. It emphasizes the need to resolve the NO2 conundrum so urban planners and urban foresters can better understand if and how trees may be more effectively incorporated into urban designs for healthier cities.

Rao, M et al

Environmental Pollution, Vol. 194, Nov. 2014, pp. 96-104

The potential annual respiratory health benefit associated with trees in Portland due to reduction in NO2 is approximately 21,000 fewer incidences and 7000 fewer days of missed school due to asthma exacerbation for 4 - 12 year-olds; 54 fewer ER visits across people of all ages; and 46 fewer cases of hospitalization due to respiratory problems triggered by NO2 in the elderly. The economic value of these health benefits is approximately $7 million (2013 USD).