Revista médica de Chile
versión impresa ISSN 0034-9887
CERDA, ARCADIO A y GARCIA, LEIDY Y. Hypothetical health and economic benefits associated with a reduction in air pollution in a Chilean city (Talca). Rev. méd. Chile [online]. 2010, vol.138, n.11, pp. 1395-1402. ISSN 0034-9887. http://dx.doi.org/10.4067/S0034-98872010001200008.
Background: Environmental air pollution is associated with a higher incidence of respiratory diseases, absenteeism and costs. Aim: To model the health related economic benefits associated to a reduction in air pollution and the resulting lower prevalence of respiratory diseases, in a Chilean city. Material and Methods: A time series model for year 2006 was elaborated. The dependent variable was the number of consultations for respiratory disease. The independent variables were air pollution expressed as particulate matter of 10 micrometers or less (PM10), minimum and maximum environmental temperatures, environmental humidity and number of consultations for chronic diseases. Results: The variables that best explained the number of consultations for respiratory diseases were PM10, minimal environmental temperatures and preexisting respiratory diseases. In a hypothetical scenery of a 67% reduction in PM10, 69% of medical consultations for respiratory diseases would be avoided. This would result in a net saving of US$ 345,000 per year. Conclusions: The reduction in PM10 emissions would result in an important reduction in consultations for respiratory diseases and monetary savings.
Palabras clave : Air pollution; Public health; Respiratory tract diseases.