The medical and social costs of urban pollution


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What is the social and economic costs of urban pollution?

This article is extracted from the study: urban transport that you can download full here.

The medical and social costs of urban pollution

A recent survey found that premature deaths of urban pollution in London were 385 1999 for the year, while deaths by traffic 250. This is primarily the elderly and the sick children who are most affected but nobody can estimate the influence of urban pollution on life expectancy. Breathing exhaust fumes and dust a few hours a day is probably as carcinogenic as asbestos.

But it is true that the filters of aeration lanes of cars are very good, the motorist will therefore makes it really matters that it causes pollution although it is not the sole responsibility of course.

Dynamic organizations epidemiological surveillance



For fifteen years the concerns of residents against the risks related to the environment and their recognition by the public authorities have developed considerably.

The 1er July 98 the government passed a law to strengthen the monitoring and safety in order to assess risk and take, if any, action to protect populations.

So it was created the Institute of Health Surveillance (VS) which continues the National Network missions of Public Health (RNSP).

In the field of air pollution, one that interests us, France has developed an epidemiological surveillance system to assess and monitor the impact of urban air pollution on the health of the population.

Many studies are carried out by correlating pollution episodes and hospitalizations, in order to estimate the cost to society of pollution.

I met Mr Bruno Masson, the Beta (Applied Technical Study Office)
ENSPS, currently a thesis on the global study of costs of pollution for society.

His studies largely came out of the subject studied here. We nevertheless annexed 6:
- 2 curves types of impact of pollution on health
- The booklet "Have Epidemiological Surveillance & Health" report of March 1999 which establishes a balance between pollution and hospitalizations in more detail.
- The interesting conclusion of an epidemiological report

Below as indicative curve of medical and social cost of sulfur dioxide.

social cost of pollution
Estimated cost based on hospital admissions and consultations. (Source: Study B.Masson, 1997, applied technical design office, ENSPS)

These studies mainly aim to raise public authorities and
population (when released) about the costs of pollution: to make them take preventive measures and a more ecological policy in general.


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