Health benefits from implementing air quality control measures were assessed using the Environmental Benefits Mapping and Analysis Program (BenMAP). BenMAP developed by US EPA is a GIS-based software tool that estimates the health impacts and associated economic values connected with changes in ambient air pollution. Once a set of BenMAP-required data was collected, the health benefits from implementing Seoul Air Quality Management Plan (SAQMP), an official AQ improvement plan for Seoul Metropolitan Area, was assessed using BenMAP. The PM10 concentrations assuming the SAQMP implemented successfully were predicted with the MM5 (Mesoscale Meteorological model version 5)/CMAQ (Community Multiscale Air Quality) model. A PM10 exposure related premature mortality function was adopted from a well-known epidemiology study. Economic valuation functions driven from benefit transfer methods were utilized. Through the SAQMP, PM10 concentrations were estimated to be lowered by 15g/m3 to 75 g/m3 depending on air quality modeling grids. 5,569 premature deaths (95% CI 3,264~7,809 deaths) could be avoided in the Seoul Metropolitan Area. The economic value of the deaths avoided was estimated to $13.2 billion (95% CI $890 million~$28.2 billion) using the benefit transfer value.BenMAP could be a useful tool for developing effective air quality improvement policy, enabling the policy makers to anticipate the effects of regulatory changes on peoples health and the economy.
Materials and Methods
Discussion and Conclusion