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Your Environment. Your Health.

Benefit-cost analysis of commercially available activated carbon filters for indoor ozone removal in single-family homes

Environmental Health Economic Analysis Annotated Bibliography


Research article Cost-benefit analysis (CBA)
Aldred JR, Darling E, Morrison G, Siegel J, Corsi RL
Indoor Air
This cost-benefit analysis developed a model to evaluate the potential costs and benefits of using activated carbon filtration of indoor air to reduce ozone exposures. The researchers used the model to predict benefit-to-cost (B/C) ratios for single-family homes in 12 American cities in five different climate zones. The average indoor ozone removal effectiveness ranged from 4 to 20 percent across the 12 cities and the mean predicted B/C ratios were greater than 1.0 in 10 of the 12 cities. The benefits of residential activated carbon filters were greatest in cities with high seasonal ozone and HVAC usage, suggesting the importance of targeting such conditions for activated carbon filter applications.
Not available

Health Outcomes

  • Mortality
  • respiratory outcomes
  • cardiovascular outcomes (dysrhythmia)

Environmental Agents

List of Environmental Agents:

  • Single

Source of Environmental Agents: (Not available)

Economic Evaluation / Methods and Source


  • Cost-benefit analysis (CBA)

Cost Measured:

  • Minor restricted activity day
  • school loss day
  • respiratory hospital admissions
  • capital costs for filter (materials and labor)
  • energy costs due to the difference in pressure drop between a standard particle filter and an activated carbon filter

Potential Cost Measures:

  • Costs associated with the installation and disposal of filters

Benefits Measures:

  • Reductions in disability-adjusted life years (DALYs)

Potential Benefits:

  • Reductions in secondary organic aerosols and other ozone reaction products (e.g., formaldehyde)


  • 12 U.S. cities (Atlanta, Austin, Buffalo, Chicago, Cincinnati, Houston, Miami, Minneapolis, New York City, Phoenix, Riverside, and Washington D.C.)

Models Used:

  • BenMAP - Environmental Benefits Mapping and Analysis Program (US EPA, 2012)
  • integrated systems model developed in this study

Methods Used:

  • The authors evaluated the potential costs and benefits of ozone control by activated carbon filtration in single-family homes. The authors — 1) developed an integrated systems model to estimate changes in indoor ozone, health incidence, and the benefit-to-cost ratio for ozone control in 12 U.S. cities in five different climate zones; 2) used a Monte Carlo simulation due to uncertainty of model parameters; and 3) evaluated health benefits using disability-adjusted life years (DALYs) and included city-specific age demographics for each simulation.

Sources Used:

  • Households and families: 2010 (US Census Bureau, 2012); World Bank Economic Data (World Bank, 2014); additional sources cited in publication

Economic Evaluation / Methods and Source


  • Aldred JR, Darling E, Morrison G, Siegel J, Corsi RL. 2016. Benefit-cost analysis of commercially available activated carbon filters for indoor ozone removal in single-family homes. Indoor Air.
  • Pubmed
  • DOI

NIEHS Funding: (Not available)

Other Funding:

  • American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air Conditioning Engineers (RP-1491)
  • Walter L. and Reta Mae Moore Graduate Fellowship in Water Resources at the University of Texas at Austin
  • University of Texas Green Fee Committee
  • U.S. Air Force
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