PM2.5-Related Health Economic Benefits Evaluation Based on Air Improvement Action Plan in Wuhan City, Middle China

International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 17:620 (2020)
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Abstract

On the basis of PM2.5 data of the national air quality monitoring sites, local population data, and baseline all-cause mortality rate, PM2.5-related health economic benefits of the Air Improvement Action Plan implemented in Wuhan in 2013–2017 were investigated using health-impact and valuation functions. Annual avoided premature deaths driven by the average concentration of PM2.5 decrease were evaluated, and the economic benefits were computed by using the value of statistical life (VSL) method. Results showed that the number of avoided premature deaths in Wuhan are 21,384 (95% confidence interval (CI): 15,004 to 27,255) during 2013–2017, due to the implementation of the Air Improvement Action Plan. According to the VSL method, the obtained economic benefits of Huangpi, Wuchang, Hongshan, Xinzhou, Jiang’an, Hanyang, Jiangxia, Qiaokou, Jianghan, Qingshan, Caidian, Dongxihu, and Hannan District were 8.55, 8.19, 8.04, 7.39, 5.78, 4.84, 4.37, 4.04, 3.90, 3.30, 2.87, 2.42, and 0.66 billion RMB (1 RMB = 0.1417 USD On 14 October 2019), respectively. These economic benefits added up to 64.35 billion RMB (95% CI: 45.15 to 82.02 billion RMB), accounting for 4.80% (95% CI: 3.37% to 6.12%) of the total GDP of Wuhan in 2017. Therefore, in the process of formulating a regional air quality improvement scheme, apart from establishing hierarchical emission-reduction standards and policies, policy makers should give integrated consideration to the relationship between regional economic development, environmental protection and residents’ health benefits. Furthermore, for improving air quality, air quality compensation mechanisms can be established on the basis of the status quo and trends of air quality, population distribution, and economic development factors.

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