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Ana Maria Vargas Falla

Ana Maria Vargas Falla

Director of first and second cycle studies

Ana Maria Vargas Falla

Air Quality in Africa : Public Health Implications


  • Asmamaw Abera
  • Johan Friberg
  • Christina Isaxon
  • Michael Jerrett
  • Ebba Malmqvist
  • Cheryl Sjöström
  • Tahir Taj
  • Ana Maria Vargas

Summary, in English

This review highlights the importance of air quality in the African urban development process. We address connections between air pollution and (a) rapid urbanization, (b) social problems, (c) health impacts, (d) climate change, (e) policies, and ( f ) new innovations. We acknowledge that air pollution levels in Africa can be extremely high and a serious health threat. The toxic content of the pollution could relate to region-specific sources such as low standards for vehicles and fuels, cooking with solid fuels, and burning household waste. We implore the pursuit of interdisciplinary research to create new approaches with relevant stakeholders. Moreover, successful air pollution research must regard conflicts, tensions, and synergies inherent to development processes in African municipalities, regions, and countries. This includes global relationships regarding climate change, trade, urban planning, and transportation. Incorporating aspects of local political situations (e.g., democracy) can also enhance greater political accountability and awareness about air pollution. Expected final online publication date for the Annual Review of Public Health, Volume 42 is April 2021. Please see for revised estimates.


  • Nuclear physics
  • MERGE: ModElling the Regional and Global Earth system
  • Metalund
  • Ergonomics and Aerosol Technology
  • NanoLund: Centre for Nanoscience
  • EpiHealth: Epidemiology for Health
  • Planetary Health
  • Division of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Lund University
  • Centre for Environmental and Climate Science (CEC)

Publishing year







Annual review of public health



Document type

Journal article


Annual Reviews


  • Environmental Health and Occupational Health


  • Africa
  • air pollution
  • public health
  • urbanization




  • The Air in African Cities

Research group

  • Planetary Health


  • ISSN: 0163-7525