Costs and Benefits of Preventing Lead Exposure

Posted by on April 28, 2014

PEPH Webinar: The Costs and Benefits of Preventing Lead Exposure – Putting Economics into the Picture

May 7, 2014, 1:00-2:00pm

As a society, we often make choices of what we can afford. However, these choices are often made without explicit consideration of the tradeoffs between costs and benefits since costs can be hidden or not fully understood. This scenario is particularly common in decisions regarding environmental exposures that may result in diseases and dysfunctions because those exposures involve uncertainties, hidden costs, and limited tools to consider those costs. Although there are efforts to weigh costs and benefits at the federal level (e.g., Office of Management and Budget), these calculations are limited and seldom invoked in local decision making.  Lead is one of the best understood environmental toxins, yet our understanding of the costs and benefits of prevention are limited, and we often do not consider the economic cost of the health effects attributable to these exposures. In this session, we will begin to unwrap systematically the costs to society associated with lead, a ubiquitous environmental contaminant. We then will present a feasible approach to identifying an economically viable lead-abatement strategy at the community level.

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