CSIRO Publishing blank image blank image blank image blank imageBooksblank image blank image blank image blank imageJournalsblank image blank image blank image blank imageAbout Usblank image blank image blank image blank imageShopping Cartblank image blank image blank image You are here: Journals > International Journal of Wildland Fire   
International Journal of Wildland Fire
  Published on behalf of the International Association of Wildland Fire
blank image Search
blank image blank image
blank image
  Advanced Search

Journal Home
About the Journal
Editorial Structure
Online Early
Current Issue
Just Accepted
All Issues
Special Issues
Research Fronts
Sample Issue
20-Year Author Index
For Authors
General Information
Submit Article
Author Instructions
Open Access
For Referees
Referee Guidelines
Review an Article
For Subscribers
Subscription Prices
Customer Service
Print Publication Dates

blue arrow e-Alerts
blank image
Subscribe to our Email Alert or RSS feeds for the latest journal papers.

red arrow Connect with CP
blank image
facebook twitter LinkedIn

red arrow Connect with IAWF
blank image
facebook twitter LinkedIn


Article << Previous     |     Next >>   Contents Vol 19(7)

The economic cost of adverse health effectsfrom wildfire-smoke exposure: a review

Ikuho Kochi A , Geoffrey H. Donovan B E , Patricia A. Champ C and John B. Loomis D

A Universidad Autónoma de Ciudad Juárez, Av. Universidad y H. Colegio Militar (Zona Chamizal), C.P. 32300, Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua, México.
B Pacific Northwest Research Station, US Forest Service, 620 SW Main, Suite 400, Portland, OR 97205, USA.
C USDA Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, 2150-A Centre Avenue, Fort Collins, CO 80526, USA.
D Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Colorado State University, B 310 Clark Building, Fort Collins, CO 80523, USA.
E Corresponding author. Email: gdonovan@fs.fed.us

International Journal of Wildland Fire 19(7) 803-817 http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/WF09077
Submitted: 16 July 2009  Accepted: 8 March 2010   Published: 5 November 2010

PDF (157 KB) $25
 Export Citation

The economic costs of adverse health effects associated with exposure to wildfire smoke should be given serious consideration in determining the optimal wildfire management policy. Unfortunately, the literature in this research area is thin. In an effort to better understand the nature of these economic costs, we review and synthesise the relevant literature in three areas: studies that estimated the health-related economic costs of wildfire-smoke exposure; epidemiology studies related to the health risk of wildfire smoke; and general economic studies that estimated the monetary value of preventing the specific adverse health outcomes. Based on the findings from this literature review, we identify the need for a better understanding of the effect of wildfire smoke on major and minor adverse health outcomes. It would also be useful to know more about averting behaviours among residents exposed to smoke during a wildfire event. Finally, we suggest investigating the unique health effects of wildfire smoke compared with conventional air pollution to determine whether it is appropriate to extrapolate from previously estimated conventional pollution dose–response functions.

Additional keywords: epidemiology studies, forest fires, health damage, non-market valuation, particulate matter.


Adamowicz V, Dales R, Hale BA, Hrudey SE, Krupnick A, Lippman M, McConnell J, Renzi P (2004) Report of an expert panel to review the socio-economic models and related components supporting the development of Canada-wide standards (CWS) for particulate matter (PM) and ozone to The Royal Society of Canada. Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health. Part B 7, 147–266.
CrossRef |

Alberini A, Cropper M, Krupnick A, Simon NB (2004) Does the value of a statistical life vary with age and health status? Evidence from the US and Canada. Journal of Environmental Economics and Management 48, 769–792.
CrossRef |

Bresnahan BW, Dickie M, Gerking S (1997) Averting behavior and urban air pollution. Land Economics 73, 340–357.
CrossRef |

Cançado JED, Saldiva PHN, Pereira LAA, Lara LBLS, Artaxo P, Martinelli LA, Arbex MA, Zanobetti A, Braga ALF (2006) The impact of sugar cane-burning emissions on the respiratory system of children and the elderly. Environmental Health Perspectives 114, 725–729.
CrossRef | PubMed |

Cardoso de Mendonça MJ, Diaz MdCV, Nepstad D, Motta RSd, Alencar A, Gomes JC, Ortiz RA (2004) The economic cost of the use of fire in the Amazon. Ecological Economics 49, 89–105.
CrossRef |

Cardoso de Mendonça MJ, Sachsida A, Loureiro PRA (2006) Estimation of damage to human health due to forest burning in the Amazon. Journal of Population Economics 19, 593–610.
CrossRef |

Chen L, Verrall K, Tong S (2006) Air particulate pollution due to bushfires and respiratory hospital admissions in Brisbane, Australia. International Journal of Environmental Health Research 16, 181–191.
CrossRef | PubMed |

Chestnut LG, Colome SD, Keller LR, Lambert WE, Ostro B, Rowe RD, Wojciechowski SL (1988) Heart disease patients’ averting behavior, costs of illness, and willingness to pay to avoid angina episodes. Final report to Office of Policy Analysis, US Environmental Protection Agency. (Washington, DC) Available at http://yosemite.epa.gov/ee/epa/eerm.nsf/vwAN/EE-0010A.pdf/$file/EE-0010A.pdf [Verified 5 October 2010]

Chestnut LG, Mills D, Rowe RD, De Civita P, Stieb D (1999) ‘Air Quality Valuation Model Version 3.0 (AQVM3.0) Report 2: Methodology, Final Report Prepared for Environment Canada, Health Canada.’ (Stratus Consulting Inc.: Boulder, CO)

Chestnut LG, Thayer MA, Lazo JK, Eeden SKVD (2006) The economic value of preventing respiratory and cardiovascular hospitalization. Contemporary Economic Policy 24, 127–143.
CrossRef |

Chew FT, Ooi BC, Hui JKS, Saharom R, Goh DYT, Lee BW (1995) Singapore’s haze and acute asthma in children. Lancet 346, 1427
CrossRef | PubMed |

Churches T, Corbett S (1991) Asthma and air pollution in Sydney. NSW Public Health Bulletin 2, 72–73.
CrossRef |

Cooper CW, Mira M, Danforth M, Abraham K, Fasher B, Bolton P (1994) Acute exacerbations of asthma and bushfires. Lancet 343, 1509
CrossRef | PubMed |

Davidson AJ, McClung MW, Cantrill SV (2003) Syndromic surveillance: an applied tool for monitoring health effects of Colorado wildfires, summer 2002. Journal of Urban Health 80, i125–i126.
CrossRef |

Delfino RJ, Brummel S, Wu J, Stern H, Ostro B, Lipsett M, Winer A, Street DH, Zhang L, Tjoa T, Gillen DL (2009) The relationship of respiratory and cardiovascular hospital admissions to the southern California wildfires of 2003. Occupational and Environmental Medicine 66, 189–197.
CrossRef | PubMed |

Dickie M, Gerking S (2002) Willingness to pay for reduced morbidity. Prepared for the workshop ‘Economic Valuation of Health for Environmental Policy: Assessing Alternative Approaches’, 18–19 March 2002, Orlando, FL. Available at http://web.bus.ucf.edu/documents/economics/workingpapers/2002-07.pdf [Verified 5 October 2010]

Dickie M, Messman VL (2004) Parental altruism and the value of avoiding acute illness: are kids worth more than parents? Journal of Environmental Economics and Management 48, 1146–1174.
CrossRef |

Duclos P, Sanderson LM, Lipsett M (1990) The 1987 forest fire disaster in California: assessment of emergency room visits. Archives of Environmental Health 45, 53–58..
| PubMed |

Emmanuel SC (2000) Impact to lung health of haze from forest fires: the Singapore experience. Respirology 5, 175–182.
CrossRef | PubMed |

Frankenberg E, McKee D, Thomas D (2005) Health consequences of forest fires in Indonesia. Demography 42, 109–129.
CrossRef | PubMed |

Freeman AM, III (2003) ‘The Measurements of Environmental and Resource Values: Theory and Methods.’ (RFF Press: Washington, DC)

Hon PML (1999) Singapore. In ‘Indonesia’s Fire and Haze: The Cost of Catastrophe’. (Eds D Glover, T Jessup) pp. 51–85. (Institute of Southeast Asian Studies: Singapore)

Johnston FH, Kavanagh AM, Bowman DMJS, Scott RK (2002) Exposure to bushfire smoke and asthma: an ecological study. Medical Journal of Australia 176, 535–538..
| PubMed |

Johnston FH, Bailie RS, Pilotto LS, Hanigan IC (2007) Ambient biomass smoke and cardio-respiratory hospital admissions in Darwin, Australia. BMC Public Health 7, 240
CrossRef | PubMed |

Kene MV, Jacoby IJ, Davis DP, Killeen J (2008) Evaluating the impact of the 2003 San Diego wildfires on emergency department use. Annals of Emergency Medicine 51, 525–526.
CrossRef |

Kniesner TJ, Viscusi WK, Woock C, Ziliak JP (2010) The Value of a Statistical Life: Evidence from Panel Data. Center for Policy Research (CPR), Syracuse University, Working Paper 122. (Syracuse, NY) Available at http://www-cpr.maxwell.syr.edu/cprwps/wps122abs.htm [Verified 5 October 2010]

Kochi I (2006) ‘Essays on the Value of a Statistical Life.’ (Georgia State University: Atlanta, GA)

Kunii O, Kanagawa S, Yajima I, Hisamatsu Y, Yamamura S, Amagai T, Ismail ITS (2002) The 1997 haze disaster in Indonesia: its air quality and health effects. Archives of Environmental Health 57, 16–22.
CrossRef | PubMed |

Künzli N, Avol E, Wu J, Gauderman WJ, Rappaport E, Millstein J, Bennion J, McConnell R, Gilliland FD, Berhane K, Lurmann F, Winer A, Peters JM (2006) Health effects of the 2003 southern California wildfires on children. American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine 174, 1221–1228.
CrossRef | PubMed |

Lipsett M, Waller K, Shusterman D, Thollaug S, Brunner W (1994) The respiratory health impact of a large urban fire. American Journal of Public Health 84, 434–438.
CrossRef | PubMed |

Liu J-T, Hammitt JK, Wang J-D, Liu J-L (2000) Mother’s willingness to pay for her own and her child’s health: a contingent valuation study in Taiwan. Health Economics 9, 319–326.
CrossRef | PubMed |

Martin WE, Brajer V, Zeller K (2007) Valuing the health effects of a prescribed fire. In ‘Wildfire Risk: Human Perceptions and Management Implications’. (Eds WE Martin, C Raish, B Kent) pp. 244–261. (Resources for the Future: Washington, DC)

Moore D, Copes R, Fisk R, Joy R, Chan K, Brauer M (2006) Population health effects of air quality changes due to forest fires in British Columbia in 2003. Canadian Journal of Public Health 97, 105–108..

Morgan G, Sheppeard V, Khalaj B, Ayyar A, Lincoln D, Jalaludin B, Beard J, Corbett S, Lumley T (2010) Effects of bushfire smoke on daily mortality and hospital admissions in Sydney, Australia. Epidemiology 21, 47–55.
CrossRef | PubMed |

Mott JA, Meyer P, Mannino D, Redd SC, Smith EM, Gotway-Crawford C, Chase E (2002) Wildland forest fire smoke: health effects and intervention evaluation, Hoopa, California, 1999. The Western Journal of Medicine 176, 157–162.
CrossRef | PubMed |

Mott JA, Alverson CJ, Mannino D, Kiyu A, Hashim J, Falter K, Redd S (2003) The 1997 Malaysian forest fires: respiratory hospitalizations in persons with a history of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. In ‘Population Association of America 2003 Annual Meeting, Final Program and Abstracts’, 1–3 May 2003, Minneapolis, MN, p. 242. Available at http://paa2003.princeton.edu/docs%5C03FinalProgram.pdf [Verified 5 October 2010]

Mott JA, Mannino DM, Alverson CJ, Kiyu A, Hashim J, Lee T, Falter K, Redd SC (2005) Cardiorespiratory hospitalizations associated with smoke exposure during the 1997 Southeast Asian forest fires. International Journal of Hygiene and Environmental Health 208, 75–85.
CrossRef | PubMed |

Naeher LP, Brauer M, Lipsett M, Zelikoff JT, Simpson CD, Koenig JQ, Smith KR (2007) Woodsmoke health effects: a review. Inhalation Toxicology 19, 67–106.
CrossRef | PubMed |

Navrud S (2001) Valuing health impacts from air pollution in Europe. Environmental and Resource Economics 20, 305–329.
CrossRef |

Ostro BD, Rothschild S (1989) Air pollution and acute respiratory morbidity: an observational study of multiple pollutants. Environmental Research 50, 238–247.
CrossRef | PubMed |

Ovadnevait? J, Kvietkus K, Maršalka A (2006) 2002 summer fires in Lithuania: impact on the Vilnius city air quality and the inhabitants health. Science of the Total Environment 356, 11–21.
CrossRef | PubMed |

Phonboon K, Paisarn-uchapong O, Kanatharana P, Agsorn S (1999) Smoke episodes emissions characterization and assessment of health risks related to downwind air quality – case study, Thailand. In ‘Health Guidelines for Vegetation Fire Events’. (World Health Organization: Lima, Peru)

Rittmaster R, Adamowicz WL, Amiro B, Pelletier RT (2006) Economic analysis of health effects from forest fires. Canadian Journal of Forest Research 36, 868–877.
CrossRef |

Rittmaster R, Adamowicz WL, Amiro B, Pelletier RT (2008) Erratum: economic analysis of health effects from forest fires. Canadian Journal of Forest Research 38, 908
CrossRef |

Ruitenbeek J (1999) Indonesia. In ‘Indonesia’s Fires and Haze: the Cost of Catastrophe’. (Eds D Glover, T Jessup) pp. 86–129. (Institute of Southeast Asian Studies: Singapore)

Sastry N (2002) Forest fires, air pollution, and mortality in Southeast Asia. Demography 39, 1–23.
CrossRef | PubMed |

Shahwahid MHO, Othman J (1999) Malaysia. In ‘Indonesia’s Fires and Haze: the Cost of Catastrophe’. (Eds D Glover, T Jessup) pp. 22–50. (Institute of Southeast Asian Studies: Singapore)

Shusterman D, Kaplan JZ, Canabarro C (1993) Immediate health effects of an urban wildfire. The Western Journal of Medicine 158, 133–138..
| PubMed |

Smith MA, Jalaludin B, Byles JE, Lim L, Leeder SR (1996) Asthma presentations to emergency departments in western Sydney during the January 1994 bushfires. International Journal of Epidemiology 25, 1227–1236.
CrossRef | PubMed |

Sorensen B, Fuss M, Mulla Z, Bigler W, Wiersma S, Hopkins R (1999) Surveillance of morbidity during wildfires – central Florida, 1998. MMWR Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report 48, 78–79..
| PubMed |

Tolley GS, Kenkel D, Fabian R (1994) ‘Valuing Health for Policy: an Economic Approach.’ (University of Chicago Press: Chicago, IL)

US EPA (1999) ‘The Benefits and Costs of the Clean Air Act 1990 to 2010.’ (US Environmental Protection Agency: Washington, DC)

US EPA (2004) ‘Air Quality Criteria for Particulate Matter.’ (US Environmental Protection Agency: Washington, DC)

US EPA (2005) ‘Regulatory Impact Analysis for the Final Clean Air Interstate Rule.’ (US Environmental Protection Agency: Washington, DC)

Vedal S, Dutton SJ (2006) Wildfire air pollution and daily mortality in a large urban area. Environmental Research 102, 29–35.
CrossRef | PubMed |

Viscusi WK (1992) ‘Fatal Tradeoffs: Public and Private Responsibilities for Risk.’ (Oxford University Press: New York)

Viswanathan S, Eria L, Diunugala N, Johnson J, McClean C (2006) An analysis of effects of San Diego wildfire on ambient air quality. Journal of the Air & Waste Management Association 56, 56–67..

Ward DE (1999) Smoke from wildland fires. In ‘Background Paper for Health Guidelines for Vegetation Fire Events’, 6–9 October 1998, Lima, Peru. (Eds K-T Goh, D Schwela, JG Goldammer, O Simpson) pp. 70–85. (World Health Organization: Lima, Peru) Available at http://www.who.int/docstore/peh/Vegetation_fires/vegetationfirbackgrtoc.htm [Verified 5 October 2010]

Wegesser TC, Pinkerton KE, Last JA (2009) California wildfires of 2008: coarse and fine particulate matter toxicity. Environmental Health Perspectives 117, 893–897..
| PubMed |

Subscriber Login

Legal & Privacy | Contact Us | Help


© CSIRO 1996-2015