Measuring Environmental Benefits

Reducing the dose of a pesticide

Suppose that a clinical study has been conducted of a particular pesticide. No epidemiological studies of the substance are available but a clinical trial on rats has been conducted. When 200 rats were exposed to 1000 mg (milligrams) of the chemical, 5 of them developed fatal cases of cancer. Right now, 200,000 people are exposed to the pesticide and the dose each person receives is 2 mg. The population’s willingness to pay to save a statistical life is $6 million. The dose-response function for this chemical is believed to be linear.
  1. Please calculate the value of reducing the dose received by each person to 1 mg.

 

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Peter J Wilcoxen, The Maxwell School, Syracuse University
Revised 05/10/2006