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What Are the Economic Health Costs of Non-action in Controlling Toxic Water Pollution?

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This paper identifies information that may be important in determining the benefits of preventing toxic water contamination (or equivalent cost of non-action) when a given toxification occurs. It attempts to identify information and behaviour issues that need to be considered when benefits are estimated and weighed against the costs of removing toxins. This paper also provides scenarios’ for three toxic pollutants that are found in water bodies. The paper makes use of two alternatives, one for developing countries and the other for developed countries, to demonstrate, with specific examples of arsenic, mercury and atrazine, how benefit estimates and control policies vary with different assumptions concerning behaviour/information and type of chemical contamination.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Department of Applied Economics, University of Minnesota, St Paul, USA

Publication date: December 1, 2006

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