The Costs of Environmental Conditions in California

In June, 2015, the California Environmental Health Tracking Program (CEHTP) released a report entitled Costs of Environmental Health Conditions in California Children, which describes the economic costs due to the environment for four childhood health conditions: asthma, childhood cancers, lead exposures, and neurobehavioral disorders. Participating in a multi-state effort coordinated by the National Environmental Public Health Tracking Program, they found that preventable environmental hazards are responsible for a significant health and economic burden on children and families in California.

Specifically, in examining the environmentally-related costs of four childhood health conditions, the authors found that:

  • Preventable environmental hazards cost California $254 million every year and $10 -13 billion over the lifetime of all children born every year
  • Lead exposures had the greatest overall financial impact of the four health conditions, resulting in lost earnings of $8 -11 billion over the lifetime of children born each year
  • Asthma had the greatest financial impact on an annual basis, costing families and the state over $208 million every year
  • For California specifically, the environment contributes to 30% of the childhood asthma burden and 15% of the childhood cancer burden

View the full report and other materials here.