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The Measurement and Economic Valuation of the Health Effects of Air Pollution

19 - 20 February 2001

London

A symposium sponsored by the United Kingdom Department of the Environment, Transport and Regions on behalf of the UNECE Convention on Long-range Transboundary Air Pollution, with financial support by the Centre for Social and Economic Research on the Global Environment (CSERGE)

London, Institute of Materials, 19-20 February 2001

The Parties to the Convention on Long-Range Transboundary Air Pollution (LRTAP) have, over the past 15 years or so, developed a number of Protocols which set Europe-wide limits on the emissions of transboundary air pollutants. The Protocols have been instrumental in improving air quality in Europe. The driving forces of these international agreements have been ecosystem protection, and, inevitably, the cost of implementing the Protocols. More recently, it has become evident that, in addition to ecosystem protection and regeneration, there are significant benefits to materials structures and to human health. While the Protocols continue to aim for long run goals based on 'critical loads', interim goals need to reflect some balance of costs and benefits. To this end, negotiators have been informed by various economic cost-benefit studies at various stages of their work. Determining economic values is, however, complex. The two-day symposium was aimed at establishing the state of the art in the combined areas of epidemiology and economic valuation, with the further goal of assisting with further work under the LRTAP Convention. A particular feature was the concern to establish firm collaboration between epidemiologists and economists working in these areas.

This symposium was the first meeting of the newly formed Network of Experts on Benefits and Economic Instruments (NEBEI). The network aims to further develop the economic work formerly carried out by the former Task Force on Economic Aspects and Abatement Strategies and to enable economic considerations to be taken into account in the development and review of Protocols to the Convention. NEBEI is to meet only on the occasion of planned workshops and will include not only economists but also representatives from other specialists groups.

PROGRAMME AND PRESENTATIONS TO DOWNLOAD

(Missing presentations and the workshop conclusions will be added)

SESSION 1   WELCOME AND OPENING ADDRESSES

Welcome and introduction

Robin Wilson, Head of Environment Protection Economics Division, United Kingdom Department of the Environment, Transport and Regions. DOC

Henning Wuester, UNECE secretariat: About the LRTAP Convention and its Protocols. PPT

David Pearce, Rapporteur, UNECE Network of Experts on  Benefits and Economic Instruments: The role of economic valuation of health effects in UNECE, LRTAP work: history, debate, outstanding issues. DOC

 Keynote responses

Michal Krzyzanowski,  Air Quality and Health, World Health Organisation. DOC

Bryan Hubbell, Innovative Strategies and Economics Group, US Environmental Protection Agency. PDF PPT

Stephen White, DG Environment, European Commission. DOC

SESSION 2   ACUTE MORTALITY: EPIDEMIOLOGY AND ECONOMICS

Bart Ostro, Air Pollution Epidemiology Unit, California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment: An overview of the epidemiology of acute health damage from air pollution DOC

David Maddison, CSERGE, University College London: Modelling distributed lag effects in epidemiological time series studies DOC

Alan Krupnick, Resources for the Future, Washington DC: Age, health and the willingness to pay for mortality risk reductions   PDF

SESSION 3   CHRONIC  MORTALITY: EPIDEMIOLOGY AND ECONOMICS

C Arden Pope, Brigham Young University, Utah: Epidemiology of chronic mortality

Nino Kuenzli, Basle University, Switzerland: Accounting for death in the tri-national impact assessment PPT

 J Fintan Hurley and Brian Miller, Institute of Occupational Medicine, Edinburgh: Potential Magnitude of chronic mortality effects PPT

 Bert Brunekreef, University of Utrecht, Netherlands: Design issues in studies of chronic mortality DOC

Graham Loomes, University of East Anglia, United Kingdom: Economic valuation of air pollution health effects: preliminary results from a new study  DOC

SESSION 4   MORBIDITY: EPIDEMIOLOGY AND ECONOMICS

Peter Burney, Department of Public Health Sciences, Kings College London: Long term morbidity effects of air pollution on health PPT

Brett Day, CSERGE, University College London: Valuing the morbidity effects of air pollution. Transferring values across national boundaries and across policy contexts DOC

 F Reed Johnson, Research Triangle Institute, North Carolina: Willingness to Pay for Improved Respiratory and Cardiovascular Health PDF

 SESSION 5   SCOPE TESTS, DISCOUNTING AND BENEFIT TRANSFER

James K Hammitt,  Center for Risk Analysis, Harvard University School of Public Health, Boston: Do Contingent Valuation Estimates of the Value of Risk Reduction pass a Scope Test?DOC

 Hugh Gravelle, Centre for Health Economics, University of York, United Kingdom: Discounting and health DOC

Gordon Hughes, World Bank and NERA, London: Using health damage estimation PPT

ROUND UP AND CONCLUSIONS

Final Remarks. The implications of the epidemiology and economics of air pollution for the work of the UNECE.DOC


Written contributions distributed at the symposium

Norbert Englert, Federal Environment Agency, Berlin DOC

Rainer Friedrich, University of Stuttgart, GermanyDOC

Spomenka Telisman, Institute for Medical Research and Occupational Health, Zagreb, Croatia DOC