Air Pollution Brings Financial Gloom on California’s Economy

November 13, 2008

California (Chattabox) — A recent study in the State of California revealed that the smog that shrouds over the state brings down a financial burden of about $28 billion annually on the state’s economy. The expenses and losses are linked to air pollution in California are related in the form of premature deaths, illness linked to ozone, particulates, etc, health care expenses, sick days and more.

The study was carried out by Cal State Fullerton’s Institute of Economic and Environmental Studies. California has the country’s worst air and nearly 20 million people live in the dirtiest regions in the state. According to the authors of the study the economic costs are the highest in the Los Angeles Basin and San Joaquin Valley. These areas are rivaled only by Houston for dirty air where people breathe the soot swirling in the air in winter and inhale the smog in summers.

“Most people cannot choose the air that they breathe, and there is a clear scientific consensus that people’s lives are shortened by air pollution. Kids are made sick. Workdays are lost,” said Jane Hall, Professor of Economics at California State University Fullerton. She also leads the team that did the study and has researched the impact of air pollution for two decades. “We pay for loss of life and sickness and for the kids who don’t get to school, or we pay for the cleanup of pollution,” she added, in a telephone interview. “There is an invoice, either way.”

The Los Angeles Basin and San Joaquin Valley are the top violators of the federal Clean Air Act. One of the major reasons for these regions to be heavily polluted is that these regions are the main hubs for shopping, manufacturing, shipping, entertainment and agriculture.

The impact of the air pollution is the highest on the families and their members in the form of premature deaths, medical expenses, respiratory problems, etc. The researchers calculated that the highest costs averaged out to be $1500 to $1600 per person.


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