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Benefits analysis of particulate matter control programs – a case study of Tokyo

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The objective of this case study was to assess economic benefits of past environmental policies of particulate matter (PM) in Tokyo by comparing observed pre-control PM levels in 1975 and post-control levels in 1998. The point estimates of the numbers of additional cases of avoided premature mortality and morbidity due to PM pollution control were (1) 3900 long-term deaths in adults aged 30 years and older (population 5?098?000), (2) 4700 cases of chronic bronchitis in adults aged 30 years and older, (3) 7800 cases of in-patient cardiovascular disease in adults aged 65 and older (population 1?281?942), (4) 3100 cases of in-patient pneumonia in adults aged 65 and older, (5) 2500 cases of in-patient chronic obstructive pulmonary disease in adults aged 65 and older, (6) 390?000 asthma attacks in asthmatics (population 450?000), and (7) 4500 cases of acute bronchitis in children aged 8–12 (population 300?300) during a one-year period. The point estimate of medical costs in adults and children plus the cost of lost wages was a purchasing power parity-adjusted $38 billion USD. Overall these results appear more likely to be underestimates than overestimates due to several unquantified benefits. The calculations of avoided health and productivity impacts suggest that pollution control policies successfully prevented a large expense to the society in extra medical care and lost work time.
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Keywords: air pollution; benefits analysis; particulate matter

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Cooperative Scientist, Department of Environmental Health, National Institute of Public Health, Japan

Publication date: 2005-06-01

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