Producing and using energy damages people’s health and the environment. This picture showcases a person wearing a mask that protects themselves from poor air quality, disease and sickness.

While the supply of energy is critical for a vibrant, modern society, its production and use often carries hidden social costs, including air and water pollution. This pollution can cause people to lead sicker and shorter lives, and force them to devote substantial resources to their medical care and sick time. It is vital that researchers continue to develop an understanding of the links between pollution and health, as well as the benefits and costs of environmental quality and society’s energy choices.

EPIC scholars are evaluating the impacts of exposure to pollution on people’s health, as well as the economic consequences pollution imposes on society in terms of health care expenses, lost work time, and shorter lives. They are also determining people’s willingness to pay for clean air and high environmental quality. Combined, this information can lead to evidence-based solutions and improved prevention, compliance and enforcement.