Global health and economic impacts of future ozone pollution

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Department of Geological and Mining Engineering and Sciences; Department of Civil, Environmental, and Geospatial Engineering


We assess the human health and economic impacts of projected 2000-2050 changes in ozone pollution using the MIT Emissions Prediction and Policy Analysis-Health Effects (EPPA-HE) model, in combination with results from the GEOS-Chem global tropospheric chemistry model of climate and chemistry effects of projected future emissions. We use EPPA-HE to assess the human health damages (including mortality and morbidity) caused by ozone pollution, and quantify their economic impacts in sixteen world regions. We compare the costs of ozone pollution under scenarios with 2000 and 2050 ozone precursor and greenhouse gas emissions (using the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Special Report on Emissions Scenarios (SRES) A1B scenario). We estimate that health costs due to global ozone pollution above pre-industrial levels by 2050 will be $580 billion (year 2000$) and that mortalities from acute exposure will exceed 2 million. We find that previous methodologies underestimate costs of air pollution by more than a third because they do not take into account the long-term, compounding effects of health costs. The economic effects of emissions changes far exceed the influence of climate alone.

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© 2009 IOP Publishing Ltd. Publisher’s version of record: https://doi.org/10.1088/1748-9326/4/4/044014

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Environmental Research Letters