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Revista de Salud Pública

Print version ISSN 0124-0064

Abstract

GARCIA-UBAQUE, César A; GARCIA-UBAQUE, Juan C  and  VACA-BOHORQUEZ, Martha L. Economic assessment in health and environment from control of persistent organic pollutants in Colombia. Rev. salud pública [online]. 2015, vol.17, n.6, pp.951-960. ISSN 0124-0064.  http://dx.doi.org/10.15446/rsap.v17n6.51717.

Objective To estimate the economic benefits related to environment and health in the context of the implementation of the Stockholm Convention for the control of Persistent Organic Pollutants in the country. Method: The estimation was conducted based on two scenarios: non-compliance with the agreement and compliance with the Convention. Gross profit was derived from the difference in present value between the health and environmental costs that are assumed in each scenario. Results Gross profit by decreasing health costs arising from the implementation of the Convention was estimated at USD $ 511 and USD $ 501 million. By introducing variables such as management costs and agreement on potential benefits for access to international markets, the benefits to the country were estimated at between USD $1 631 and USD $ 3 118 million. Discussion Despite the economic benefits generated by lower expenditure on health for the Convention implementation, the costs associated with reducing pollutant emissions generated a negative balance, compensated only by the expectation of higher revenues for international market access. We consider this initial economic assessment an important contribution, but it should be reviewed to include valuation methodologies involving other social profitability variables and different scenarios for emerging technologies, new scientific knowledge about these pollutants, changes in legislation and / or changes in trade agreement conditions, among others.

Keywords : Health care costs; environmental pollution; economic factors; policy making.

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