Particulate Emissions: Health Effects and Labour Market Consequences

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The objective of this study was to analyse the productivity cost savings associated with mitigation of particulate emissions, as an input to a cost-benefit analysis. Reduced emissions of particulate matter ( P M 2 . 5 ) may reduce the incidence of diseases related to air pollution and potentially increase productivity as a result of better health. Based on data from epidemiological studies, we modelled the impact of air pollution on four different diseases: coronary heart disease, stroke, lung cancer, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. We identified individuals with these diseases and modelled changes in disease incidence as an expression of exposure. The labour market affiliation and development in wages over time for exposed individuals was compared to that of a reference group of individuals matched on a number of sociodemographic variables, comorbidity, and predicted smoking status. We identified a productivity cost of about 1.8 million EURO per 100,000 population aged 50–70 in the first year, following an increase in P M 2 . 5 emissions. We have illustrated how the potential impact of air pollution may influence social production by application of a matched study design that renders a study population similar to that of a trial. The result suggests that there may be a productivity gain associated with mitigation efforts.

Original languageEnglish
Article number130502
JournalJournal of Environmental and Public Health
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - 30 Jul 2012

ID: 38505524