The Environmental Benefits Mapping and Analysis Program ( BenMAP ) is an open source , Windows -based computer program created by the US Environmental Protection Agency That Estimates the health benefits from improvements in air quality . State, local and international users have used BenMAP to estimate the health benefits of improved air quality. BenMAP includes information users need to start performing a benefits analysis; Advanced users can customize the program to meet their needs. Because BenMAP is based on a GIS , the results can be mapped for ease of presentation.

BenMAP can be used for:

  • Generation of population / community level ambient pollution exposure maps;
  • Comparison of benefits across multiple regulatory programs;
  • Estimation of health impacts associated with exposure to existing air pollution concentrations;
  • Estimation of health benefits of alternative ambient air quality standards;
  • Performance of sensitivity analyzes of health or valuation functions, or of other inputs; and
  • Hypothetical, or “what-if,” type analyzes.

A United Nations case study concluded that it had a remarkable tool in helping decision-makers understand the health and economic implications of possible air pollution control policies. ” [1]

BenMAP-Community Edition was released in December of this year. [2]

Information

BenMAP is a tool for estimating the health impacts of climate change. It accomplishes this by running health impact functions, which relate a change in the concentration of a pollutant with a change in the incidence of a health endpoint.

Inputs to health impact typically include:

  • The change in ambient air pollution level,
  • Health effect estimate,
  • The baseline incidence of the health endpoint, and
  • The exposed population.
  • Air Pollution Change . The air quality change is calculated as the difference between the starting air pollution level, also called the baseline, and the air pollution level after some change, such as that caused by a regulation. In micrograms per meter cubed (μg / m3).
  • Mortality Effect Estimate . The mortality effect of air pollution is calculated as follows: Epidemiological studies provide a source for effective estimates.
  • Mortality Incidence . The mortality incidence rate is an estimate of the average number of people who die in a given population. For example, the mortality incidence rate could be the probability that a person will die in a given year. Mortality incidence rates and other health data are typically collected each country’s government. The World Health Organization is a good source for data.
  • Exposed Population . The exposed population is the number of people affected by the air pollution reduction. The government census office is a source for this information. Private companies may collect this information and offer it for sale.

BenMAP also calculates the economic value of health impacts. After the calculation of the mortality change, these premature deaths can be valued by multiplying the change in mortality reduction by an estimate of the value of a statistical life:

Value of Statistical Life : The Value of a Statistical Life.

BenMAP also serves as a Geographic Information System (GIS), allowing users to create, utilize, and visualize maps of air pollution, population incidence, incidence rates, economic assessments, and other types of data.

Users

Users may include scientists, policy analysts, and decision makers. Advanced users can explore options and evaluate the impacts of different health impacts and valuation functions.

References

  1. Jump up^ “USA 5: BenMAP International – Model to Estimate Health Benefits of Air Quality Improvements” (PDF) . United Nations . Retrieved February 27, 2014 .
  2. Jump up^ “BenMAP – Community Edition” . EPA. Archived from the original on March 3, 2014 . Retrieved February 27, 2014 .

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