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Journal article

Assessment of past, present and future health-cost externalities of air pollution in Europe and the contribution from international ship traffic using the EVA model system

Brandt J, Silver J, Christensen J, Andersen M, Bønløkke J, Sigsgaard T, Geels C, Gross A, Hansen A, Hansen K, Hedegaard G, Kaas E, Frohn L ...see all

Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, vol. 13, issue 15 (2013) pp. 7747-7764

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Abstract

An integrated model system, EVA (Economic Valuation of Air pollution),
based on the impact-pathway chain has been developed to assess the
health-related economic externalities of air pollution resulting from
specific emission sources or sectors. The model system can be used to
support policy-making with respect to emission control. In this study,
we apply the EVA system to Europe, and perform a more detailed
assessment of past, present, and future health-cost externalities of the
total air pollution levels in Europe (including both natural and
anthropogenic sources), represented by the years 2000, 2007, 2011, and
2020. We also assess the contribution to the health-related external
costs from international ship traffic with special attention to the
international ship traffic in the Baltic and North seas, since special
regulatory actions on sulfur emissions, called SECA (sulfur emission
control area), have been introduced in these areas. We conclude that,
despite efficient regulatory actions in Europe in recent decades, air
pollution still constitutes a serious problem for human health. Hence
the related external costs are considerable. The total health-related
external costs for the whole of Europe are estimated at 803 bn euros
yr(-1) for the year 2000, decreasing to 537 bn euros yr(-1) in the year
2020. We estimate the total number of premature deaths in Europe in the
year 2000 due to air pollution to be around 680 000 yr(-1), decreasing
to approximately 450 000 in the year 2020. The contribution from
international ship traffic in the Northern Hemisphere was estimated to
7% of the total health-related external costs in Europe in the year
2000, increasing to 12% in the year 2020. In contrast, the contribution
from international ship traffic in the Baltic Sea and the North Sea
decreases 36% due to the regulatory efforts of reducing sulfur
emissions from ship traffic in SECA. Introducing this regulatory
instrument for all international ship traffic in the Northern
Hemisphere, or at least in areas close to Europe, would have a
significant positive impact on human health in Europe.

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