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The measurement of mortality - air-pollution relationships

By V K Smith


This paper reviews past evidence on the properties of alternative specifications of the relationship between air pollution and mortality, and discusses the extent to which estimates derived from these relations are credible. Revised mortality - air-pollution equations are estimated with 1968 and 1969 data. These equations are tested for specification errors. While the results of the analysis indicate that the measured effect of air pollution on total mortality is quite stable, they do suggest that the findings of any of these studies must be viewed with caution. Air-pollution - mortality relations can only be regarded as weak approximations of a more complex underlying association.

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