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Your Environment. Your Health.

Health benefits and costs of filtration interventions that reduce indoor exposure to PM2.5 during wildfires

Environmental Health Economic Analysis Annotated Bibliography


Research article Cost-benefit analysis (CBA)
Fisk WJ, Chan WR
Indoor Air
This cost-benefit analysis estimated the expected health benefits if interventions had improved particle filtration in homes in Southern California during a 10-day period of wildfire smoke exposure in 2003. With interventions in all homes, the central estimates of the economic benefits from avoided respiratory hospitalizations during the wildfire period ranged from $1 to $5.8 million, while the economic benefits of reduced mortality ranged from $75 to $416 million. Cost effectiveness was improved by implementing interventions in the homes of the elderly.
Portion of analysis examined adults ( ≥65 years)

Health Outcomes

  • Respiratory outcomes (asthma, bronchitis, bronchiolitis, COPD, pneumonia)
  • mortality (premature mortality)

Environmental Agents

List of Environmental Agents:

  • Single

Source of Environmental Agents:

  • Wildfires

Economic Evaluation / Methods and Source


  • Cost-benefit analysis (CBA)

Cost Measured:

  • Cost of interventions (HVAC incremental energy cost, HVAC incremental filter cost, portable filter energy cost, portable filter equipment cost)

Potential Cost Measures: (Not available)

Benefits Measures:

  • Prevented respiratory hospital admissions and deaths

Potential Benefits:

  • Reduced post-wildfire hospital admissions
  • reduced hospital admissions or deaths due to health effects from other wildfire-related air pollutants (e.g., nitrogen oxides and aldehydes)


  • Six-county region in Southern California with substantially increased particle concentrations during wildfires in 2003

Models Used: (Not available)

Methods Used:

  • The authors estimated the magnitude of reduced hospital admissions and premature deaths for hypothetical intervention scenarios implemented during a Southern California wildfire in 2003. The authors — 1) used mass balance models, inhalation rate calculations, and published data from the wildfire event to estimate reductions in hospital admissions and premature deaths associated with six intervention types; 2) calculated the economic value of prevented hospital admissions and deaths and the costs of each intervention; and 3) performed these calculations both for the total population of the affected area and a portion of the population ≥65 years.

Sources Used:

  • The relationship of respiratory and cardiovascular hospital admissions to the southern California wildfires of 2003 (Delfino et al., 2009); valuing mortality impacts of smoke exposure from major southern California wildfires (Kochi et al., 2012); County-level population data for 2000 (US Census Bureau); Statistical abstract of the United States - 2012 (US Census Bureau, 2012); additional sources cited in publication

Economic Evaluation / Methods and Source


  • Fisk WJ, Chan WR. 2017. Health benefits and costs of filtration interventions that reduce indoor exposure to PM2.5 during wildfires. Indoor Air.
  • Pubmed
  • DOI

NIEHS Funding: (Not available)

Other Funding:

  • Funded through interagency agreement DW-89-92337001 between the Indoor Environments Division, Office of Radiation and Indoor Air of the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the US Department of Energy under contract DE-AC02-05CH11231
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