A Method for Quantifying the Acute Health Impacts of Residential Non-Biological Exposure Via Inhalation
INTRODUCTION The inability to monetize the health costs of acute exposures in homes and the benefits of various control options is a barrier to justifying policies and approaches that can reduce exposure and improve health.
METHODS We synthesized relationships between short-term outdoor concentration changes and health outcomes to estimate the health impacts of short-term in-home exposures. Damage and cost impacts of specific health outcomes were taken from the literature. We assessed the impact of vented and non-vented residential natural gas cooking burners on Southern California occupants for two pollutants (NO2 and CO).
RESULTS Despite only looking at the impact of two pollutants on acute exposure-related health outcomes, the annual health benefits of using venting range hoods exceed the costs.
CONCLUSIONS The established methodology will provide a useful tool for quantifying the costs of acute exposures in homes and will allow for identification of cost effective methods for reducing exposures.
IMPLICATIONS Acute exposures in homes can have substantial impacts on the health of occupants especially for those in an already compromised state of health. Range hoods have the potential to significantly reduce acute exposures associated with cooking as well as reduce chronic exposure that result from aggregate cooking emissions. This report quantified the costs and benefits of mitigating two pollutants (NO2 and CO) associated with gas cooking and indicated that range hoods are cost effective based on those two pollutants alone. It is expected that particle emissions could have a much larger effect than NO2 and CO. Particle emissions are associated with food cooking and not just fuel usage. The benefits of removing cooking-related particles increase the value for gas cooking appliances and provide value for cooking with electric appliances as well