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Your Environment. Your Health.

Estimates of costs for housing-related interventions to prevent specific illnesses and deaths

Environmental Health Economic Analysis Annotated Bibliography


Review Cost analysis (CA), Cost-effectiveness analysis (CEA), Cost-benefit analysis (CBA), Cost-utility analysis (CUA)
Mason J and Brown MJ
Journal of Public Health Management and Practice
An overview of economic analyses of housing-related interventions to address asthma, lead poisoning, carbon monoxide poisoning, and radon-related lung cancer was discussed in this review article. The authors stated that understanding both the strengths and limitations of economic evaluations will help decision makers interpret findings appropriately and make informed decisions about how best to allocate limited resources.
Not available

Health Outcomes

  • Reviewed publications that examined — respiratory outcomes (asthma)
  • cancer outcomes (lung cancer)

Environmental Agents

List of Environmental Agents:

  • Reviewed publications that examined — metals (lead)
  • air pollutants (carbon monoxide (CO))
  • allergens/irritants
  • ionizing radiation (radon gas)

Source of Environmental Agents:

  • Reviewed publications that examined — home/residential exposures

Economic Evaluation / Methods and Source


  • Cost analysis (CA)
  • Cost-effectiveness analysis (CEA)
  • Cost-benefit analysis (CBA)
  • Cost-utility analysis (CUA)

Cost Measured:

  • Reviewed publications that examined costs related to the following — asthma-related medical/healthcare costs
  • missed school days
  • productivity losses
  • lost lifetime earnings due to premature death
  • costs related to environmental/residential exposures to mold/dampness
  • costs for medications associated with comorbidities of asthma (e.g., allergic rhinitis)
  • costs for asthma-related housing interventions (e.g., home-based interventions, integrated pest management, and reducing exposure to pesticides and allergens)
  • lead-poisoning costs (e.g., productivity losses)
  • costs related to radon exposure in homes/remediation (e.g., costs of lung cancer, radon mitigation costs, and costs for making new radon-resistant home)

Potential Cost Measures:

  • Economic costs and burden of common housing-related injuries
  • direct medical costs of lead exposure in homes
  • costs associated with the effects of in utero lead exposure (reduced gestational age or lower birth weight) or certain adult adverse outcomes (increases in blood pressure and cardiovascular disease)
  • CO poisoning-related fatality costs
  • morbidity costs related to CO residential exposure
  • costs of CO exposure home interventions (e.g. CO detectors)

Benefits Measures:

  • Reviewed publications that examined the following benefits — societal benefits from reduced lead exposures related to productivity gains
  • savings in energy costs and higher market values
  • benefits of preventing premature death caused by radon-induced lung cancer

Potential Benefits:

  • Reduction in costs for ADHD, juvenile delinquency, criminal behavior, and special education as they are associated with lead exposures in young children
  • healthcare costs due to extended life expectancy
  • delayed lung cancer onset and prevention of nonfatal lung cancer
  • benefits to future generations that live in radon high-risk areas

Location: (Not available)

Models Used: (Not available)

Methods Used:

  • The authors performed a review of economic articles on housing interventions, examined salient differences between studies, and discussed pertinent gaps in the literature. They provided an overview of key economic evaluation methods in relation to housing interventions pertaining to housing-related health issues/illness such as asthma, lead, carbon-monoxide poisoning and radon-related lung cancer.

Sources Used:

  • Direct and indirect costs of asthma in school-age children (Wang et al., 2005); The Seattle-King County Healthy Homes Project: a randomized, controlled trial of a community health worker intervention to decrease exposure to indoor asthma triggers (Krieger et al., 2005); Effectiveness of an integrated pest management intervention in controlling cockroaches, mice, and allergens in New York City public housing (Kass et al., 2009); Societal benefits of reducing lead exposure (Schwartz, 1994); Exposures to environmental toxicants and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in US children (Braun et al., 2006); Lung cancer deaths from indoor radon and the cost effectiveness and potential of policies to reduce them (Gray et al., 2010); Consumer Price Index (US Bureau of Labor Statistics); additional sources cited in publication

Economic Evaluation / Methods and Source


  • Mason J and Brown MJ. 2010. Estimates of costs for housing-related interventions to prevent specific illnesses and deaths. Journal of Public Health Management and Practice.
  • Pubmed
  • DOI

NIEHS Funding: (Not available)

Other Funding: (Not available)

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