Skip Navigation
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Dot gov

The .gov means it’s official.
Federal government websites often end in .gov or .mil. Before sharing sensitive information, make sure you’re on a federal government site.


The site is secure.
The https:// ensures that you are connecting to the official website and that any information you provide is encrypted and transmitted securely.

Your Environment. Your Health.

Air pollution, health and economic benefits - lessons from 20 years of analysis

Environmental Health Economic Analysis Annotated Bibliography


Review Cost-benefit analysis (CBA)
Hall JV, Brajer V, and Lurmann FW
Ecological Economics
The authors compared two large-scale air quality benefit assessments that were completed for California's South Coast Air Basin in 1989 and 2008. The authors concluded that there were dramatic improvements in air quality, and dramatic reductions in population exposures to particulate matter and ozone between the two time periods. The authors highlighted the continually evolving health literature, and in contrast, fairly constant real economic unit values assigned to adverse health outcomes.
Adults (18-64 years)

Health Outcomes

  • Reviewed publications that examined premature mortality

Environmental Agents

List of Environmental Agents:

  • Reviewed publications that examined — air pollutants (particulate matter (PM10/coarse and PM2.5/fine), ozone)

Source of Environmental Agents: (Not available)

Economic Evaluation / Methods and Source


  • Cost-benefit analysis (CBA)

Cost Measured:

  • Reviewed publications that examined costs related to air quality, including — PM-related premature death/mortality (measured using value of a statistical life (VSL)
  • ozone-related minor restrictions in activity days (MRADS)

Potential Cost Measures:

  • Costs of asthma-related ER visits
  • respiratory hospital admissions
  • cardiopulmonary hospital admissions
  • cardiovascular outcomes
  • work days lost

Benefits Measures:

  • Reviewed publications that examined benefits of improving air quality, including — reduced incidence of premature mortality
  • reduced/averted number of minor restricted activity days
  • improved air quality

Potential Benefits: (Not available)


  • South Coast Air Basin in California, USA

Models Used:

  • Regional Human Exposure Model (REHEX)
  • linear rollback model

Methods Used:

  • The authors reviewed and compared two large-scale air quality benefit assessments completed for California's South Coast Air Basin for two different periods, 1989 and 2008. To determine which factors explain the differences in the two air quality assessments, the authors — 1) used an integrated approach to calculate reductions in adverse health outcomes by linking the severity of pollutant exposure of the affected population to the resulting health outcomes; and 2) assigned dollar values to each adverse health outcome/endpoint based on value of a statistical life (VSL).

Sources Used:

  • Economic assessment of the health benefits from improvements in air quality in the South Coast Air Basin (Hall et al., 1989); The benefits of meeting federal clean air standards in the South Coast and San Joaquin Air Basins (Hall et al., 2008); Cross-sectional mortality studies and air pollution risk assessment (Evans et al., 1984); Air pollution and morbidity revisited: a specification test (Ostro, 1987); Spatial analysis of air pollution and mortality in Los Angeles (Jerrett et al., 2005); Lung cancer, cardiopulmonary mortality: a further analysis of the Los Angeles student nurses data (Pope et al., 2002); Urban air quality and acute respiratory illness (Portney and Mullahy, 1986); additional sources cited in publication

Economic Evaluation / Methods and Source


  • Hall JV, Brajer V, and Lurmann FW. 2010. Air pollution, health and economic benefits - lessons from 20 years of analysis. Ecological Economics.
  • Pubmed: (Not available)
  • DOI

NIEHS Funding: (Not available)

Other Funding: (Not available)

to Top