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Monetizing the Burden of Childhood Asthma Due to Traffic Related Air Pollution in the Contiguous United States in 2010.

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Khreis, Haneen 


BACKGROUND: Traffic-related air pollution (TRAP) refers to the wide range of air pollutants emitted by traffic that are dispersed into the ambient air. Emerging evidence shows that TRAP can increase asthma incidence in children. Living with asthma can carry a huge financial burden for individuals and families due to direct and indirect medical expenses, which can include costs of hospitalization, medical visits, medication, missed school days, and loss of wages from missed workdays for caregivers. OBJECTIVE: The objective of this paper is to estimate the economic impact of childhood asthma incident cases attributable to nitrogen dioxide (NO2), a common traffic-related air pollutant in urban areas, in the United States at the state level. METHODS: We calculate the direct and indirect costs of childhood asthma incident cases attributable to NO2 using previously published burden of disease estimates and per person asthma cost estimates. By multiplying the per person indirect and direct costs for each state with the NO2-attributable asthma incident cases in each state, we were able to estimate the total cost of childhood asthma cases attributable to NO2 in the United States. RESULTS: The cost calculation estimates the total direct and indirect annual cost of childhood asthma cases attributable to NO2 in the year 2010 to be $178,900,138.989 (95% CI: $101,019,728.20-$256,980,126.65). The state with the highest cost burden is California with $24,501,859.84 (95% CI: $10,020,182.62-$38,982,261.250), and the state with the lowest cost burden is Montana with $88,880.12 (95% CI: $33,491.06-$144,269.18). CONCLUSION: This study estimates the annual costs of childhood asthma incident cases attributable to NO2 and demonstrates the importance of conducting economic impacts studies of TRAP. It is important for policy-making institutions to focus on this problem by advocating and supporting more studies on TRAP's impact on the national economy and health, including these economic impact estimates in the decision-making process, and devising mitigation strategies to reduce TRAP and the population's exposure.



air pollution, asthma, cost of illness, economics, pediatric asthma, public health, traffic emissions, traffic related air pollution, Air Pollutants, Air Pollution, Asthma, Child, Environmental Exposure, Humans, Nitrogen Dioxide, Traffic-Related Pollution, United States

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Int J Environ Res Public Health

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