Costs Inherent in use of Sub-Optimal Measures of Air Quality

John S. Evans
Patrick L. Kinney

DOI: 10.2190/7EP1-BBG6-D31T-0P8T


Atmospheric aerosols are thought to produce many classes of effects, e.g., morbidity, mortality, property damage. It would be possible to specify a unique theoretically optimal metric for each class of effects. Alternatively a single surrogate metric could be used to represent the combined impact of all classes of effects. Here, the impacts of using surrogates in establishing ambient air pollution standards are explored. It is demonstrated that costs arise due to: (1) reduction in dimensionality of the set of exposure metrics, and (2) imprecision in the relationships between the surrogate and each of the theoretically optimal metrics. These costs must be balanced against the savings flowing from operation of simplified monitoring networks.

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