Industrial Water Contamination and Health Impacts: An Economic Perspective
Azizullah Sayal, Shehla Amjad, Muhammad Bilal, Arshid Pervez, Qaisar Mahmood, Muhammad Asim Afridi
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Department of Environmental Science, COMSATS Institute of Information Technology,
University Road, Tobe Camp, Abbottabad 22060, Pakistan
Submission date: 2015-09-22
Final revision date: 2015-11-10
Acceptance date: 2015-11-24
Publication date: 2016-03-17
Pol. J. Environ. Stud. 2016;25(2):765–775
The present study quantifi ed and evaluated the presence of water pollution and its impact on the health of the adjacent human community. Water sampling and household surveying was carried out using a GIS approach using primary data. The quantifi cation of health impact was based on the scientifi c tools of environment, economic theory, econometrics, and statistics. The focus of our study was the impact of lead (Pb) contamination of drinking water from industrial effl uents on population health and utility in Dingi village, adjacent to an industrial estate in Haripur Pakistan. Results of the study showed varying Pb contamination beyond the safe limits set by WHO. Marginal willingness to pay based on probabilities of sickness, medical costs, and avertive costs was estimated at $53 per household yearly. The opportunity cost of leisure ($22) and avertive measures ($54) were also estimated to fi nd the total economic cost born by households ($300). Total annual welfare loss of the Dingi community exposed to Pb contamination and its cost accounted for 4.26 million PKR ($42,000). This welfare quantifi cation extrapolated to other villages can contribute to heavy monetary loss. Policymakers should pay special attention to such polluted areas to adopt mitigation measures to save public health.