The Human Health Cost Of PM2.5

  • Exposure to air pollution is linked to numerous serious health effects, including respiratory infections, lung cancer, stroke and heart disease, all of which come at tremendous economic cost

  • The overwhelming majority of monetized damages from air pollution is attributable to premature mortality and the main contributor is PM2.5

Sample Air Quality Index Levels Of PM2.5

  • PM2.5 fine particulate matter air pollution has been recognized as a major source of mortality in the United States for over 25 years

  • A small fraction of emissions, concentrated in or near densely populated areas, plays an outsized role in damaging human health with the most damaging 10% of total emissions accounting for 40% of total damages

  • The highest marginal damage emissions are concentrated almost exclusively in high population density areas

  • In the U.S. alone the total estimated annual damages from anthropogenic PM2.5 are $886 billion, corresponding to 107,000 cases of premature mortality* (Goodkind A, et al. U.S. National Academy of Sciences Proceedings 2019)

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