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Air pollution and social cost: a first estimate of potential savings from the urban application of nano-structured materials

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Abstract

Because nowadays more than 200 kind of diseases are to some extent connected to atmospheric pollution, with a very significant impact on the social cost of a community, it can be important to study the effect that plans for using technologies able to treat urban areas atmosphere as a whole (in particular public areas), may have on reducing social and economic costs. The relationship between the increment of air pollutant concentration and morbidity/mortality due to natural, heart, encephalovascular and respiratory causes has been widely documented in national and international scientific literature. A technology based on nano-structured materials (TiO2 based nanocompounds) which, under ultraviolet radiations, presents photocathalytic effects, can be able to decompose a wide variety of atmospheric pollutants as nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and nano-powder (PM10). In this paper we study and set up a model for the economic and social impact assessment of a large scale implementation of this technology in the field of urban and building construction. The paper assumes that the estimates of economic-social costs of air pollution, can be used as a starting point for a preliminary determination of the savings, which can be realized by employing photocatalytic pigments and mortars on a wide urban scale. This analysis has been applied to data referred to the town of Turin and has highlighted the possibility of a considerable level of saving in terms of social and economic costs.

Suggested Citation

  • Monica Cariola & Alessandro Manello, 2013. "Air pollution and social cost: a first estimate of potential savings from the urban application of nano-structured materials," CERIS Working Paper 201311, Institute for Economic Research on Firms and Growth - Moncalieri (TO) ITALY -NOW- Research Institute on Sustainable Economic Growth - Moncalieri (TO) ITALY.
  • Handle: RePEc:csc:cerisp:201311
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    Keywords

    4-6 nanocompounds; atmospheric pollutants; social costs evaluation; social saving; titanium dioxide;

    JEL classification:

    • Q51 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Valuation of Environmental Effects
    • Q53 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Air Pollution; Water Pollution; Noise; Hazardous Waste; Solid Waste; Recycling
    • Q55 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environmental Economics: Technological Innovation
    • Q58 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environmental Economics: Government Policy
    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health

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