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Children's Health Protection


Under Executive Order 13045 and Agency policy, EPA assesses health risks that may disproportionately affect children. Benefit-cost and other economic analyses of these risks is a critical aspect of this assessment, including the evaluation of planned regulations and policies and feasible alternatives.

Guidance and Reference Documents

Children's Health Valuation Handbook (October 2003). As a reference tool for analysts conducting economic analyses of EPA regulations and policies that may affect risks to children's health, EPA developed the Children's Health Evaluation Handbook. This handbook focuses on valuing changes in risks to children's health caused by environmental improvement or degradation. It addresses incorporating children's health considerations in efficiency assessments and distributional analyses.

Guidelines for Preparing Economic Analyses (September 2000). The Children's Health Valuation Handbook supplements EPA's Guidelines for Preparing Economic Analyses. The Guidelines establish a sound scientific framework for performing economic analyses of environmental regulations and policies. They provide guidance on analyzing the economic impacts of regulations and policies and assessing the distribution of costs and benefits among various segments of the population, with a particular focus on disadvantaged and vulnerable groups.

The Cost of Illness Handbook. EPA developed the Cost of Illness Handbook to provide support for benefits analyses, policy evaluation and development, and other EPA activities. The handbook contains information on the per capita incremental direct medical costs associated with the various illnesses linked to environmental pollutants. The handbook contains cost data for numerous cancers, developmental diseases and disabilities, respiratory diseases, acute diseases, and additional illnesses.

Handbook for Non-Cancer Health Effects Valuation. This handbook provides an introductory survey of the theory, techniques, and existing literature pertaining to economic valuation of non-cancer health effects. This handbook is designed to improve the understanding of non-cancer valuation methods and their application among EPA staff involved in preparing and presenting policy analyses; provide a means to facilitate consistency in the use of the existing literature on non-cancer valuation across the Agency; and present a set of "off-the-shelf" approaches and suggestions on the use of these approaches for analyses of environmental health risk reduction. In addition, this handbook presents some of the main challenges, issues, and uncertainties associated with the economic methods commonly used for health effect valuation.

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Economic Research and Collaboration

EPA promotes research and collaboration on economic issues related to children's health. These projects have included the following:

Grants on Valuation for Environmental Policy. Under the Science to Achieve Results (STAR) program, EPA has solicited grant FY 2004 applications on Valuation for Environmental Policy. The solicitation had two parts: human health valuation (emphasizing adult and children's morbidity and children's mortality) and valuation of ecological benefits. Previously, EPA sponsored grants on both children's vulnerability to toxic substances in the environment and the valuation of environmental impacts on children's health. Choose from the links below to learn about grants and recipients by year.

Health Valuation Workshops Focusing on Children's Health. EPA has held two workshops on children's health valuation.

  • In March 1999, EPA and the National Science Foundation sponsored a workshop on valuing children's health effects. View the workshop's agenda and proceedings. The workshop brought together leading economists to share and discuss ideas on this issue. In preparation for the workshop, EPA commissioned several research papers. These papers, along with the information generated at the workshop, were used to develop the Children's Health Valuation Handbook (October 2003).
  • In October 2003, EPA sponsored a second workshop. Investigators presented their research results on valuing the protection of children from environmental harm. The workshop also featured discussion of the related issues the value of infant health, the use of economic experiments to examine the transition from child to economically rational adult, and household decision-making models.

In March 2002, the University of Central Florida, with funding from EPA, held a workshop on "Economic Valuation of Health for Environmental Policy: Assessing Alternative Approaches."

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