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Monetary benefits of preventing childhood lead poisoning with lead-safe window replacement

Nevin, Rick and Jacobs, David / E. and Berg, Michael and Cohen, Jonathan (2007): Monetary benefits of preventing childhood lead poisoning with lead-safe window replacement. Published in: Environmental Research , Vol. 106, No. 3 (March 2008): pp. 410-419.

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Abstract

Previous estimates of childhood lead poisoning prevention benefits have quantified the present value of some health benefits, but not the costs of lead paint hazard control or the benefits associated with housing and energy markets. Because older housing with lead paint constitutes the main exposure source today in the U.S., we quantify health benefits, costs, market value benefits, energy savings, and net economic benefits of lead-safe window replacement (which includes paint stabilization and other measures). The benefit per resident child from improved lifetime earnings alone is $21,195 in pre-1940 housing and $8,685 in 1940-59 housing (in 2005 dollars). Annual energy savings are $130 to $486 per housing unit, with or without young resident children, with an associated increase in housing market value of $5,900 to $14,300 per housing unit, depending on home size and number of windows replaced. Net benefits are $4,490 to $5,629 for each housing unit built before 1940, and $491 to $1,629 for each unit built from 1940-1959, depending on home size and number of windows replaced. Lead-safe window replacement in all pre-1960 U.S. housing would yield net benefits of at least $67 billion, which does not include many other benefits. These other benefits, which are shown in this paper, include avoided Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, other medical costs of childhood lead exposure, avoided special education, and reduced crime and juvenile delinquency in later life. In addition, such a window replacement effort would reduce peak demand for electricity, carbon emissions from power plants, and associated long-term costs of climate change.

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