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Revista Española de Salud Pública

On-line version ISSN 2173-9110Print version ISSN 1135-5727

Abstract

ORDONEZ-IRIARTE, José M.ª et al. Economic Appraisal of the Impact of the Ban on the Use of Lead in Gasoline on the Intellectual Quotient of 7-8 Years Old in the Community of Madrid. Rev. Esp. Salud Publica [online]. 2015, vol.89, n.5, pp.487-496. ISSN 2173-9110.  http://dx.doi.org/10.4321/S1135-57272015000500006.

Background: The repercussions on health of public policies are hard to assess from an economic point of view, which is why this is rarely done. The purpose of this study was to financially quantify the benefits of reducing blood lead levels in children aged 7-8 years in the Community of Madrid (Spain) as a result of the ban on the use of lead in gasoline. Methods: The decrease the intellectual quotient (IQ) points was calculated through two studies on children aged 7-8 years according to their blood lead levels. A geometric mean of 3.8 μg/dl was obtained in the 1995 study and of 0.9 μg/dl in the 2010 study. The net increase in IQ was measured in terms of productivity gained throughout the working life as per the methods of Schwartz and Salkever. Results: The decrease in blood lead levels in these children prevented a loss of between 135,391 and 144,153 IQ points; the current economic valuation of these points in terms of the productivity gained throughout the working life of this cohort of children was estimated to fall within the €626.4m- €865.4m range (2009). Conclusions: The figures of the economic benefits derived from the decision to ban leaded gasoline are very high.

Keywords : Childood; Environmental pollution; Gasoline; Lead; Public policy; Environmental economics; Disability evaluation; Health Impact assessment.

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