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The Health Costs of Inaction with Respect to Air Pollution

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  • Pascale Scapecchi

    (OECD)

Abstract

How much does the environment affect human health? Is air pollution shortening our lives and those of our children? These questions are fundamental to environmental policies. Air pollution is a major environmental health threat in OECD countries, contributing to a number of illnesses, such as asthma, cancer and premature deaths. Despite national and international interventions and decreases in major emissions, the health impacts of air pollution are not likely to decrease in the years ahead, unless appropriate action is taken. This report presents estimates of the costs and benefits of environmental policies aiming at reducing air pollution and provides policy recommendations in order to better address environmental health issues. Dans quelle mesure l'environnement influe-t-il sur la santé humaine ? La pollution de l'air va-t-elle restreindre notre espérance de vie et celle de nos enfants ? Ces questions sont fondamentales pour les politiques environnementales. Dans les pays de l'OCDE, la pollution atmosphérique constitue une menace pour la santé, puisqu'elle joue un rôle dans nombre d'affections, telles que l'asthme, certains cancers et de décès prématurés. En dépit des actions engagées à l'échelle nationale et internationale et de la baisse des principales émissions, il est peu probable que les effets de la pollution de l'air sur la santé diminuent dans les années à venir à moins que ne soient prises les mesures qui s'imposent. Ce rapport présente des estimations des coûts et bénéfices de politiques environnementales visant à réduire la pollution atmosphérique et propose des recommandations politiques afin de mieux traiter les questions de santé environnementale.

Suggested Citation

  • Pascale Scapecchi, 2008. "The Health Costs of Inaction with Respect to Air Pollution," OECD Environment Working Papers 2, OECD Publishing.
  • Handle: RePEc:oec:envaaa:2-en
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    File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/241481086362
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D61 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Allocative Efficiency; Cost-Benefit Analysis
    • D62 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Externalities
    • H43 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Project Evaluation; Social Discount Rate
    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
    • 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

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