Measuring Health Benefits from Air Pollution Reduction in Kathmandu Valley
The study estimates the health benefits to individuals from a reduction in current air pollution levels to a safe level in the Kathmandu metropolitan and Lalitpur sub-metropolitan areas of the Kathmandu valley, Nepal. The study estimates a dose response function to capture the health effects of exposure to air pollution for the purpose of measuring the monetary benefits of reducing pollution to safe levels. Data for this study was collected over four seasons from 120 households (641 individuals) from three different locations in the study area. The findings suggest that the annual welfare gain to a representative individual in the city from a reduction in air pollution from the current average level of 255 g/m3 to a safe minimum level of 120 g/m3 is NRs 266 per annum (USD 3.70). Extrapolating to the total population of the two cities of Kathmandu and Lalitpur, a reduction in air pollution to meet safety standards would result in monetary benefits of NRs 315 million (USD 4.37 million) per year. A calculation of the health benefits that would accrue to the residents of the cities under consideration yields a discounted benefit that is as high as NRs 6085 million (USD 80.53 million) for the next 20 years.Key Words: Air Pollution, Human Health, Dose Response Function, Panel Data, Health Diary
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