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Your Environment. Your Health.

Valuing the health benefits of clean air

Environmental Health Economic Analysis Annotated Bibliography


Research article Cost-benefit analysis (CBA), Cost-utility analysis (CUA)
Hall JV, Winer AM, Kleinman MT, Lurmann FW, Brajer V, and Colome SD
An assessment of health effects due to ozone and particulate matter (PM10) suggested that among the 12 million residents of the South Coast Air Basin of California, individuals experienced ozone-related symptoms on an average of up to 17 days each year, and face an increased risk of death in any year of 1/10,000 as a result of elevated PM10 exposure. The estimated annual economic value of avoiding these effects was estimated to be nearly $10 billion. The authors concluded that attaining air pollution standards may save 1,600 lives a year in the region.
Not available

Health Outcomes

  • Mortality
  • respiratory outcomes (cough, chest discomfort, sore throat, eye irritation, headaches)

Environmental Agents

List of Environmental Agents:

  • Air Pollutants (ozone, particulate matter (PM10/coarse))

Source of Environmental Agents:

  • Indoor pollution
  • in-vehicle pollution

Economic Evaluation / Methods and Source


  • Cost-benefit analysis (CBA)
  • Cost-utility analysis (CUA)

Cost Measured:

  • Minor restricted activity days
  • restricted activity days
  • economic value of attaining national ambient air quality standards (NAAQS)

Potential Cost Measures: (Not available)

Benefits Measures:

  • Lives saved
  • reduced symptoms

Potential Benefits:

  • Improvements in visibility
  • protection of materials or vegetation
  • prevention of chronic lung disease
  • reduced greenhouse gas
  • reduced ecosystem effects


  • South Coast Air Basin in California, USA

Models Used:

  • Regional Human Exposure (REHEX) model

Methods Used:

  • The authors assessed the health effects due to ozone and particulate matter in the South Coast Air Basin in California. The authors — 1) characterized exposure and dose using the Regional Human Exposure Model which estimates a population's typical indoor, outdoor, and in-vehicle exposures during the day; 2) estimated concentration of exposure to pollutants by corresponding district assigned locations in an ambient air monitoring network for each of nine demographic groups; 3) calculated the statistical value of lives saved; and 4) used three economic measures to value pollution related health effects — cost of illness (CO), willingness to pay (WTP), and willingness to accept (WTA).

Sources Used:

  • Air quality monitoring data from the South Coast Air Quality Management District; Effects on human health of pollutants in the South Coast Air Basin (Kleinman et al., 1989); additional sources cited in publication

Economic Evaluation / Methods and Source


  • Hall JV, Winer AM, Kleinman MT, Lurmann FW, Brajer V, and Colome SD. 1992. Valuing the health benefits of clean air. Science.
  • Pubmed
  • DOI: (Not available)

NIEHS Funding: (Not available)

Other Funding: (Not available)

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