Socioeconomic impact of indoor air pollution: 19 billion euros a year

Socioeconomic cost of indoor air pollution

What are the sanitary and economic consequences of indoor air pollution for the community ? To answer this question, the ANSES (French Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health and Safety), the OQAI (Indoor Air Quality Observatory) and Pierre Kopp, Professor of Economics at Paris 1 Pantheon-Sorbonne University, conducted the first exploratory study in France on the socioeconomic impact of indoor air pollution. The estimated cost is on the order of 19 billion euros a year. This initial assessment, as well as assumptions and possible approaches, was presented at an OQAI public workshop on June 23 at the CSTB in Paris.

Indoor air quality is a public health concern. Indoor environments are diverse, creating varied situations that can lead to exposure to many kinds of physical agents and chemical or microbiological contaminants that have wide-ranging health implications. For the first time in France, an exploratory study of the socioeconomic cost of indoor air pollution has just been completed.

This study of socioeconomic, or social costs aims to estimate the annual cost to the community of the consequences of indoor air pollution. It assesses the annual volume of resources, whether human or financial, which society loses because of this pollution.

Based on this study, the cost of indoor air pollution to the community, described by six pollutants, is in the order of 19 billion euros a year. Although these results are more illustrative than definitive, given the many underlying assumptions, it demonstrates that the order of magnitude of these costs is significant and that particulate matter is the major concern. These initial results may be expanded with future work.

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About OQAI: mandated by public authorities, the purpose of theIndoor Air Quality Observatory is to increase understanding of indoor pollution, its origins and dangers, particularly through measurement campaigns. Its work is crucial to finding appropriate solutions for preventing and controlling this kind of pollution, while raising awareness among professionals and the general public.