Letters. Health Hazards - Environmental Science & Technology (ACS

John Roth. Environ. Sci. Technol. , 1979, 13 (9), pp 1023–1023. DOI: 10.1021/es60157a603. Publication Date: September 1979. ACS Legacy Archive...
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Health hazards Dear Sir: I found the article by Professor Jacobs on “Analyzing Environmental Health Hazards” ( E S &T, May 1979, p 526) to be excellent. It effectively identifies some major concepts which should be thoroughly grasped by policy makers at the legislative and regulatory levels. Unfortunately, it is difficult to quantify the costs involved. There are the lack of information (scientific, economic, and social), differences in interpretation of existing data, and, even more complex, different perceptions of acceptable risks in the face of uncertainties.


Relationships between victims’ health costs, polluters’ abatement costs, and the level of environmental hazard


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Level of environmental hazard

In particular, there is one point which should be clarified with regard to Figure 1, redrawn here. Abatement costs are typically exponential, not linear, although major technology changes will make the costs of abatement discontinuous functions. Note that the abatement costs are asymptotic to the ordinate. Again it is refreshing to read an article which approaches environmental decisions on a more rational basis. John A. Roth

Professor, Chemical & Environmental Engr. Vanderbilt University Nashville. Tenn. 37235 CIRCLE 18 ON READER SERVICE CARD

Volume 13, Number 9, September 1979