Societal costs of air pollution-related health hazards: a review of methods and results
Publikation/Tidskrift/Serie: Cost Effectiveness and Resource Allocation
Förlag: Bio Med Central
This paper aims to provide a critical and systematic review of the societal costs of air pollutionrelated ill health (CAP), to explore methodological issues that may be important when assessing or comparing CAP across countries and to suggest ways in which future CAP studies can be made more useful for policy analysis. The methodology includes a systematic search based on the major electronic databases and the websites of a number of major international organizations. Studies are categorized by origin – OECD countries or non-OECD countries – and by publication status. Seventeen studies are included, eight from OECD countries and nine from non-OECD countries. A number of studies based on the ExternE methodology and the USA studies conducted by the Institute of Transportation are also summarized and discussed separately. The present review shows that considerable societal costs are attributable to air pollution-related health hazards. Nevertheless, given the variations in the methodologies used to calculate the estimated costs (e.g. cost estimation methods and cost components included), and inter-country differences in demographic composition and health care systems, it is difficult to compare CAP estimates across studies and countries. To increase awareness concerning the air pollution-related burden of disease, and to build links to health policy analyses, future research efforts should be directed towards theoretically sound and comprehensive CAP estimates with use of rich data. In particular, a more explicit approach should be followed to deal with uncertainties in the estimations. Along with monetary estimates, future research should also report all physical impacts and source-specific cost estimates, and should attempt to estimate 'avoidable cost' using alternative counterfactual scenarios.
- Business and Economics