Economic costs of air pollution on the basis of selected examples
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Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL) w Warszawie; kierownik: mgr Weronika Piestrzyńska
Submission date: 2016-11-28
Publication date: 2016-12-05
Corresponding author
Weronika Piestrzyńska
LW 2017;95(1):27-31
  • The article is based on a lecture presented on 21 April 2016 during the 6th Scientific Conference in honor of Brig. Gen. Assoc. Prof. Wojciech Lubiński MD, PhD: Health effects of air pollution at the Military Institute of Medicine in Warsaw.
Air pollution is currently one of the most significant factors influencing the deterioration in health of the world population. Production of electricity, transportation, industry and constantly increasing world population (according to predictions in 2025, the world population will exceed 8 billion people) significantly contribute to decrease in the quality of atmospheric air. Scientific research confirms the effect of air pollution on human health, expressed as premature deaths, chronic respiratory, cardiovascular and nervous system diseases. The newest research shows the correlation between exposure to air pollution and cancer, diabetes, hypertension and Alzheimer disease. Deterioration in public health causes decreased productivity of the society, generating significant health and social costs. However, air pollution is recognized not only as a health and social, but it is also considered an economic burden for the economies of individual countries and the world as a whole. Air pollution is also a significant issue in Poland, since the production of electricity in power plants and household heating is based on combustion of coal and other fossil fuels. Furthermore, increasing road traffic in urban areas directly affects the health of Polish society. This generates significant losses for Polish economy, decreasing the GDP (gross domestic product) level. The results of epidemiological studies, performed during the last 20 years indicate harmful effects of air pollution on human health. Based on this data, governmental and non‑governmental organizations do predictions and estimate health costs incurred by individual countries and regions due to their societies’ exposure to air pollution.
No conflicts of interest were declared.
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