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Poisoned for Pennies: Costs, Benefits, and Chemicals Policies

Ackerman, Frank PhD

doi: 10.1097/01.ede.0000339543.26880.24
Abstracts: ISEE 20th Annual Conference, Pasadena, California, October 12–16, 2008: Plenary Sessions

Director of Research and Policy Program, Global Development and the Environment Institute, Tufts University, USA.

Abstracts published in Epidemiology have been reviewed by the organizations of Epidemiology. Affliate Societies at whose meetings the abstracts have been accepted for presentation. These abstracts have not undergone review by the Editorial Board of Epidemiology.


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It is often claimed that cost-benefit analysis is needed to determine whether proposed environmental policies are affordable. Such analysis, however, is both impossible, because crucial benefits have no meaningful prices, and also unnecessary, because most policy proposals (with the possible exception of climate change measures) are very inexpensive. Empirical examples include US policy toward arsenic, the debate over atrazine, and the new European chemicals policy.

© 2008 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.