A project quantifying the health and economic impact of NO2 and PM2.5 in Greater Manchester .
IPPR North has asked the Environment Research Group (ERG) at King’s College London (King’s) to help produce a Health Impact assessment and economic assessment of Greater Manchester (GM) formed of ten local authorities (LA) (Bolton, Bury, Manchester, Oldham, Rochdale, Salford, Stockport, Tameside, Trafford and Wigan). To do this, ERG first downloaded the air quality data in each LA, which then, combined with relationships between concentrations and health outcomes, were used to calculate the impacts on health from the air pollution emitted in each LA.
Mortality impact (long –term exposure)
Taking into account the UK Government’s projected future changes in air pollution concentrations from 2011 to 2030, the population would still be losing between 0.6 to 1.6 million life years as a result of air pollution changes in Greater Manchester (a life year is one person living for one year). This can also be represented as a loss in life expectancy from birth in 2011 of around 2 to 6 months.
The population in Greater Manchester would gain around 930,000 life years over a lifetime if air pollution concentrations improved as projected, compared with remaining at 2011 concentrations. This can also be represented as an improvement in average life expectancy from birth in 2011 of around 3.5 months.
Despite the projected future improvements in air pollution concentrations from 2011 to 2030, the annualised economic health impact costs between 2011 and 2030 are still between £0.3 - £1bn.
The monetary benefits of improvements to future anthropogenic PM2.5 and NO2 concentrations, compared with 2011 concentrations remaining unchanged, has been estimated to be up to £0.5 billion on average/year (at 2014 prices).
Economists assign monetary values to the health benefits of reducing air pollution in cost-benefit analysis in order to compare with the costs of implementing a package of policies. They are not actual costs but a measure of the amount of money society believes it would be reasonable to spend on policies to reduce air pollution (to avoid the adverse health effects of the remaining pollution) or was reasonable to have spent on policies that have already reduced air pollution.
Mortality burden (long –term exposure)
Greater Manchester’s total mortality burden from anthropogenic PM2.5 for the year 2011 is estimated to be equivalent to 1,459 attributable deaths mostly at older ages as is typical the ages for deaths in the general population.
Dr David Dajnak
James David Smith
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