Quantification and valuation of the effects of traffic-induced air pollution on mortality : an analysis of fourteen British cities
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An effective transport system is vital for economic well-being and the quality of life. Yet negative external effects of road traffic play a growing role in the environmental political discussion. The majority of these effects produce so-called external costs as they are not paid by generators but are inflicted on society as a whole. In particular, emissions form motor vehicles are of serious concern as they are widely recognised in causing damage to human health, ranging from breathing discomfort to cardio-respiratory diseases resulting in premature death. The latter are the focus of this study, where the ultimate objective is the valuation of the effects of traffic-generated air pollution on mortality. The valuation procedure is undertaken in a stepwise manner. First, the short-term association between daily mortality and ambient air pollution in 14 major British cities between 1992 and 1997 is assessed, using time-series analysis. Second, based on the estimated exposure-response functions the total numbers of premature deaths attributable to air pollution in general, and to road traffic in particular is quantified. Finally, by applying willingness to pay estimates for the value of a statistical life (employing air pollution related adjustments) the total external costs attributable to air pollution are calculated. These figures are an important element for transport policy decision-making, particular on a decentralised local authority level.
Thesis, PhD Doctor of Philosopy
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