Environmental Economics

Cost of Air Pollution Damage: A Status Report

Published and unpublished estimates of the cost of air pollution damage are reviewed and national total estimates are given. In addition, cost estimates are developed for air pollution effects on human health, vegetation, materials, and residential property values. Estimates of the cost of air pollution damage to animals and to aesthetic aspects of the environment are not derived. Although discussed at length, the cost of soiling from air pollution is not estimated.

The total national cost in 1968 of damage resulting from air pollution was $16.1 billion, which includes $5.2 billion for residential property, $4.7 billion for materials, $6.1 billion for health, and $0.1 billion for vegetation. The cost for each effect is distributed among the several pollutants considered responsible for that effect according to their relative emissions. The same cost is distributed among the sources by their relative emissions. No cost function relations could be developed for various levels of pollution. As a consequence, the pivotal functions of marginal benefit are precluded. The $16.1 billion figure is considered to be a reasonable, conservative estimate.

  • Keywords

    1. Benefits Analysis
    1. Benefits Analysis - Valuation
    Environmental Media:
    a. Air
    a. Air - Mobile Source
    a. Air - Stationary Source
    a. Air - Tropospheric
    Barrett, Larry B.
    Waddell, Thomas E.
    EPA Project Officer/ Manager:
    Barrett, Larry B.
    Geographic Area:
    United States
    Study Purpose:
    Data Development
    Inventory Record #: EE-0460
  • Participating Organizations

    Research Organization:

    Environmental Protection Agency, National Environmental Research Laboratory, Research Triangle ParkAddress:
    City: Research Triangle Park State: NC ZIP:
    Phone: Fax:
  • Report Details
    Number of Pages:
    EPA #:
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    Date Linked: 08/29/2017