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Your Environment. Your Health.

The economic cost of adverse health effects from wildfire-smoke exposure: a review

Environmental Health Economic Analysis Annotated Bibliography


Review Cost analysis (CA)
Kochi I, Donovan GH, Champ PA, and Loomis JB
International Journal of Wildland Fire
The economic costs of the adverse health impacts associated with wildfire smoke are discussed in this review article. The authors determined that there is a need for better understanding of the association between wildfire smoke and major/minor adverse health outcomes and suggested that quantifying the health-related costs of wildfire-smoke exposure will be an important consideration for wildfire management policy.
Not available

Health Outcomes

  • Reviewed publications that examined — morbidity/mortality (premature mortality)
  • cardiovascular outcomes (heart failure)
  • respiratory outcomes (acute bronchitis, asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, pneumonia)

Environmental Agents

List of Environmental Agents:

  • Reviewed publications that examined — air pollutants (particulate matter)

Source of Environmental Agents:

  • Reviewed publications that examined wildfire smoke

Economic Evaluation / Methods and Source


  • Cost analysis (CA)

Cost Measured:

  • Reviewed publications that examined economic costs associated with wild-fire smoke exposure, including — healthcare costs (hospital admissions inpatient/outpatient visits, emergency department visits)
  • costs of premature mortality
  • number of excess deaths
  • morbidity related costs (work days lost, restricted-activity days, minor restricted-activity days)
  • self-treatment costs
  • other overall costs reviewed included those that were estimated using the willingness to pay (WTP) and cost of illness (COI) method (medical costs, labor loss, averting costs, and utility loss)

Potential Cost Measures:

  • Costs of relocating susceptible individuals from smoke-affected areas

Benefits Measures: (Not available)

Potential Benefits:

  • The authors mention "prescribed burning" as a technique that would lead to reduction in health costs related to wildfires, reduction in fuel loads, reduction in future PM emissions

Location: (Not available)

Models Used: (Not available)

Methods Used:

  • The authors reviewed and synthesized relevant literature related to health and economic costs of wildfire-smoke exposure. The authors focused on the following — 1) if wildfire-specific epidemiology studies found significant health effects associated with wildfire-smoke exposure; and 2) if the findings in wildfire-specific epidemiology studies are consistent with the findings in conventional PM studies. They then outlined potential reasons/causes for differences in observed health effects from conventional PM and wildfire smoke studies.

Sources Used:

  • The economic costs of the use of fire in the Amazon (Cardoso de Mendonca et al., 2004); Indonesia's fires and haze — the cost of catastrophe (Shahwahid and Othman 1999); Smoke episodes emissions characterization and assessment of health risks related to downwind air quality - case study, Thailand (Phonboon et al., 1999); Acute exacerbations of asthma and bushfires (Cooper et al., 1994); additional sources cited in publication

Economic Evaluation / Methods and Source


  • Kochi I, Donovan GH, Champ PA, and Loomis JB. 2010. The economic cost of adverse health effects from wildfire-smoke exposure: a review. International Journal of Wildland Fire.
  • Pubmed: (Not available)
  • DOI

NIEHS Funding: (Not available)

Other Funding: (Not available)

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