Estimating the Health and Economic Impacts of Changes in Local Air Quality

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ObjectivesTo demonstrate the benefits-mapping software Environmental Benefits Mapping and Analysis Program-Community Edition (BenMAP-CE), which integrates local air quality data with previously published concentration-response and health-economic valuation functions to estimate the health effects of changes in air pollution levels and their economic consequences.MethodsWe illustrate a local health impact assessment of ozone changes in the 10-county nonattainment area of the Dallas-Fort Worth region of Texas, estimating the short-term effects on mortality predicted by 2 scenarios for 3 years (2008, 2011, and 2013): an incremental rollback of the daily 8-hour maximum ozone levels of all area monitors by 10 parts per billion and a rollback-to-a-standard ambient level of 65 parts per billion at only monitors above that level.ResultsEstimates of preventable premature deaths attributable to ozone air pollution obtained by the incremental rollback method varied little by year, whereas those obtained by the rollback-to-a-standard method varied by year and were sensitive to the choice of ordinality and the use of preloaded or imported data.ConclusionsBenMAP-CE allows local and regional public health analysts to generate timely, evidence-based estimates of the health impacts and economic consequences of potential policy options in their communities.

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