Quantify the benefits in terms of human health impacts

To estimate health benefits in monetary terms, a standard technique, used by the World Health Organization (WHO), is the valuation of disability-adjusted life-years (DALY). The DALY is an economic parameter which extends the concept of potential years of life lost due to premature death to also include equivalent years of “healthy” life lost due to poor health or disability (WHO, 2008). The DALY combines in one measure the time lived with a disability, and the time lost due to premature mortality, both of which are plausible outcomes of contaminant exposure.

DALY rates for WHO member countries can be downloaded from the WHO website (Excel file, 3 MB - external link | local link)

The DALY rate determined by WHO is applicable to the entire population of the countries considered; it can be used to estimate the number of DALYs (total or potentially related to chemical exposure) at specific sites through the following formula, where Populationsite is the potentially exposed population at the site who may benefit from the proposed remediation efforts.

DALYSsite = DALYratecountry x Populationsite
  100000

 Where:

  • DALYSsite are the number of site specific DALYs calculated
  • DALYratecountry is the total number of DALYs per 100000 population for a country, obtained from the WHO website
  • Populationsite is the potentially exposed population at the site who may benefit from the proposed remediation efforts
The DALY is a standard health measure created by the World Health Organization
Source: P. Virot
Hatfield Consultants The World Bank funded by the Canadian POPs Trust Fund through the      
Canadian International Development Agency
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