A Benefit-Cost Analysis of Retrofitting Diesel Vehicles with Particulate Filters in the Mexico City Metropolitan Area

17 Pages Posted: 7 Nov 2006

See all articles by Gretchen Stevens

Gretchen Stevens

Harvard University - T.H. Chan School of Public Health

Andrew Wilson

Harvard University - T.H. Chan School of Public Health

James K. Hammitt

Harvard University

Abstract

In the Mexico City metropolitan area, poor air quality is a public health concern. Diesel vehicles contribute significantly to the emissions that are most harmful to health. Harmful diesel emissions can be reduced by retrofitting vehicles with one of several technologies, including diesel particulate filters. We quantified the social costs and benefits, including health benefits, of retrofitting diesel vehicles in Mexico City with catalyzed diesel particulate filters, actively regenerating diesel particulate filters, or diesel oxidation catalysts, either immediately or in 2010, when capital costs are expected to be lower. Retrofit with either type of diesel particulate filter or an oxidation catalyst is expected to provide net benefits to society beginning immediately and in 2010. At current prices, retrofit with an oxidation catalyst provides greatest net benefits. However, as capital costs decrease, retrofit with diesel particulate filters is expected to provide greater net benefits. In both scenarios, retrofit of older, dirtier vehicles that circulate only within the city provides greatest benefits, and retrofit with oxidation catalysts provides greater health benefits per dollar spent than retrofit with particulate filters. Uncertainty about the magnitude of net benefits of a retrofit program is significant. Results are most sensitive to values used to calculate benefits, such as the concentration-response coefficient, intake fraction (a measure of exposure), and the monetary value of health benefits.

Suggested Citation

Stevens, Gretchen and Wilson, Andrew and Hammitt, James K., A Benefit-Cost Analysis of Retrofitting Diesel Vehicles with Particulate Filters in the Mexico City Metropolitan Area. Risk Analysis, Vol. 25, No. 4, pp. 883-899, August 2005. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=943136 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1539-6924.2005.00650.x

Gretchen Stevens (Contact Author)

Harvard University - T.H. Chan School of Public Health ( email )

677 Huntington Avenue
Boston, MA MA 02115
United States

Andrew Wilson

Harvard University - T.H. Chan School of Public Health ( email )

677 Huntington Avenue
Boston, MA MA 02115
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/researchers/awilson.html

James K. Hammitt

Harvard University ( email )

718 Huntington Avenue
Boston, MA 02115
United States
617-432-4343 (Phone)
617-432-0190 (Fax)

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