A recent MIT research indicates that the economic damage
from ozone and polluted air has risen sharply in China. In 1975,
these costs amounted to about $22 billion (€16,8 billion) due to
lost labor and increased health care costs. By 2005, this number
rose to $112 billion (€85,7 billion). Ozone and particulates are
known to cause cardiovascular and respiratory diseases.
Urbanization, population growth, rising
Even though the Chinese government set up a number of measures
to counter air pollution, "the results clearly indicate that ozone
and particulate matter have substantially impacted the Chinese
economy over the past 30 years," commented Noelle Selin from the MIT.
Two phenomena can explain these results. On the one hand,
urbanization and population growth led to an increasing number
being exposed to air pollution. On the other hand, rising incomes
accompanying China's economic boom increased the damage associated
with lost labor.