Polluted air costs China $112 billion

Nieuws | de redactie
16 februari 2012 | MIT researchers estimated the economic impact of polluted air in China. Due to absence at work and increased health care costs, workers sick due to air pollution cost the country’s economy $112 billion alone in 2005.

A recent MIT research indicates that the economic damagefrom ozone and polluted air has risen sharply in China. In 1975,these costs amounted to about $22 billion (€16,8 billion) due tolost labor and increased health care costs. By 2005, this numberrose to $112 billion (€85,7 billion). Ozone and particulates areknown to cause cardiovascular and respiratory diseases.

Urbanization, population growth, risingincomes

Even though the Chinese government set up a number of measuresto counter air pollution, “the results clearly indicate that ozoneand particulate matter have substantially impacted the Chineseeconomy 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 numberbeing exposed to air pollution. On the other hand, rising incomesaccompanying China’s economic boom increased the damage associatedwith lost labor.


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