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Korean Journal of Preventive Medicine 2003;36(3): 230-238.
Risk-Based Damage Cost Estimation on Mortality Due to Environmental Problems.
Ye Shin Kim, Yong Jin Lee, Hoa Sung Park, Dong Chun Shin
1Institute for Environmental Research, Yonsei University, Korea.
2Department of Preventive Medicine and Public Health, College of Medicine; Yonsei University, Korea.
OBJECTIVES: To estimate the value of statistical life (VSL) and health damage cost on theoretical mortality estimates due to environmental pollution. METHODS: We assessed the health risk on three environmental problems and eight sub-problems. Willingness to pay (WTP) was elucidated from a questionnaire survey with dichotomous contingent valuation method and VSL (which is the division of WTP by the change of risk reduction) calculated from WTP. Damage costs were estimated by multiplying VSL by the theoretical mortality estimates. RESULTS: VSLs from death caused by air pollution, indoor air pollution and drinking water contamination were about 0.3, 0.5 and 0.3 billion won, respectively. Damage costs of particulate matters (PM10) and radon were higher in the sub-problems and were above 100 billion won. Because damage cost depends on theoretical mortality estimate and WTP, its uncertainty is reduced in the estimating process. CONCLUSION: Health damage cost or risk benefit should be considered as one scientific criterion for decision making in environmental policy.
Key words: Mortality; Cost-benefit analysis; Risk assessment; Environmental pollution
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