Global Burden of Disease from Major Air Pollution Sources (GBD MAPS): A Global Approach

The Global Burden of Disease from Major Air Pollution Sources (GBD MAPS) project provides a contemporary and comprehensive evaluation of contributions to the ambient PM2.5 disease burden from source sectors and fuels across 21 regions, 204 countries, and 200 subnational areas.

Quantitative contributions from 24 emission sensitivity simulations were first derived using an updated global atmospheric chemistry-transport model, input with a newly developed detailed anthropogenic emissions dataset that includes emissions specific to source sector and fuels. These simulation results were then integrated with newly available high-resolution satellite-derived PM2.5 exposure estimates and disease-specific concentration–response relationships consistent with the GBD project to quantify contributions of specific source sector and fuel to the ambient PM2.5 disease burden across all regions, countries, and subnational areas.

Main Findings

Nearly 1.05 million deaths worldwide would be avoidable by eliminating fossil-fuel combustion, with coal contributing over half of that burden. Residential (19.2%; 736,000 deaths), industrial (11.7%; 448,000 deaths), and energy (10.2%; 391,000 deaths) sector emissions are among the other dominant global sources.

Regions with the largest anthropogenic contributions generally have the highest numbers of attributable deaths, which clearly demonstrates the importance of reducing these emissions to realize reductions in global air pollution and its disease burden.


McDuffie EE, Smith SJ, O’Rourke P, Tibrewal K, Venkataraman C, Marais EA et al. A global anthropogenic emission inventory of atmospheric pollutants from sector- and fuel-specific sources (1970–2017): an application of the Community Emissions Data System (CEDS). Earth Syst Sci Data 2020;12:3413–3442. Read more

McDuffie EE, Martin RV, Spadaro J, Burnett R, Smith SJ, O’Rourke P et al. Source sector and fuel contributions to ambient PM2.5 and attributable mortality across multiple spatial scales. Nat Commun 2021;12:3594. Read more