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Economic costs of childhood diseases and disabilities attributable to environmental contaminants in Washington state, USA

Environmental Health Economic Analysis Annotated Bibliography

Details

Research article Cost analysis (CA)
Authors
Davies K
Journal
Ecohealth
Summary
This cost analysis estimated that the costs of childhood diseases and disabilities (asthma, cancer, lead exposure, birth defects, and neurobehavioral disorders) attributable to environmental contaminants equaled $1.875 billion in 2004 in Washington State. This study argued for the need of an ecosystem approach to human health in which the condition of the environment, in terms of exposures to environmental contaminants, must be addressed using a systemic perspective.
Population
Children and adolescents (≤ 18 years)

Health Outcomes

  • Cancer Outcomes
  • respiratory outcomes (asthma)
  • birth outcomes (birth defects)
  • neurological/cognitive outcomes (IQ/intelligence deficits)

Environmental Agents

List of Environmental Agents:

  • Air pollutants (traffic pollutants)
  • metal (lead)

Source of Environmental Agents:

  • Outdoor pollution
  • vehicle exhaust emissions
  • source of lead not available

Economic Evaluation / Methods and Source

Type:

  • Cost analysis (CA)

Cost Measured:

  • Healthcare/medical costs such as hospital care, physician services, prescriptions, inpatient/outpatient charges, radiological services, lab services, and medical treatment
  • lost school days and lost productivity
  • lost parental wages
  • risk of secondary cancer
  • effects on IQ
  • lost productivity later in life
  • lifetime costs associated with decrements in IQ from lead exposure
  • costs of developmental services
  • cost of special education
  • housekeeping expenses

Potential Cost Measures:

  • Asthmatic costs due to household allergens, molds, secondhand smoke, infections or climatic conditions
  • costs due to metabolic and functional birth defects

Benefits Measures: (Not available)

Potential Benefits: (Not available)

Location:

  • Washington state, USA

Models Used:

  • National and State Cost of Illness (COI) models
  • environmentally attributable fraction (EAF) model

Methods Used:

  • The author estimated the economic costs associated with childhood diseases and disabilities attributable to environmental contaminants in Washington state, USA. The author — 1) based estimates on cost of illness models that included direct healthcare costs and indirect costs; and 2) used an environmentally attributable fraction (EAF) model to quantify the proportions of each disease or disability that could reasonably be attributed to environmental contaminants.

Sources Used:

  • US Census Bureau (2000); US Dept. of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics (1999); Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (1997 and 2000); Trust for America's Health (2001); US National Academy of Sciences Committee on Developmental Toxicology (2000); Washington State Department of Health and the Washington Asthma Initiative (2005); Washington State Cancer Registry (2004); Washington State Office of Financial Management (2004); Bureau of Economic Analysis; additional sources cited in publication

Economic Evaluation / Methods and Source

Citation:

  • Davies K. 2006. Economic costs of childhood diseases and disabilities attributable to environmental contaminants in Washington state, USA. Ecohealth.

Pubmed: (Not available)

DOI:

NIEHS Funding: (Not available)

Other Funding: (Not available)