Edited by David Pearce, Corin Pearce and Charles Palmer
Chapter 2: Quantifying and valuing life expectancy changes due to air pollution in developing countries
David Maddison and Marie Gaarder 1 INTRODUCTION The prime purpose of this chapter is to quantify and value, insofar as it is possible, the health impacts of air pollution in densely populated urban conurbations or ‘mega-cities’ of the developing world. Cities such as Santiago, São Paolo, Bombay, Istanbul, Krakow, Shanghai, Bangkok and Manila already suﬀer from very high levels of air pollution compared to those encountered in Western Europe and North America (World Health Organisation/United Nations Environmental Programme, 1992). Moreover, these cities are densely populated, so that a large number of people are potentially aﬀected by the same emission. In addition, these cities are growing rapidly and the ownership of motor vehicles is increasing. Thus the current problems of these sprawling conurbations, though bad already, are set to worsen unless measures are taken to regulate more stringently the use of fossil fuel in these urban areas. But such interventions are expensive and residents of these cities, who are poor, have many pressing needs, such as clean water, sanitation and improved health care. Accordingly, there is a need to show that remedial measures are cost eﬀective in terms of other alternative uses of the required resources. Table 2.1 illustrates the extent of air pollution problems for nine major conurbations. Data on ambient air quality are taken from various sources. Those ﬁgures given are for the latest year or years available and provide data on particulate concentrations as well as SO2 concentrations. The data on particulates are sometimes...
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