Country-specific damage factors for air pollutants

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Abstract

An integrated impact assessment model is used to calculate the impact per tonne of SO2, NOx, fine particles, and NMVOC emitted from different source countries on human health, acidification, eutrophication, and the man-made environment (crop yield and building materials). Indicators on the endpoint level are used to measure the effects resulting from a marginal change in emission levels. While the assessment of impacts on ecosystems and the man-made environment is limited to Europe, damage factors for health effects are also derived for Asia and South America. For Europe, emission scenarios for the years 1990 and 2010 are considered to analyse the influence of changing background conditions on the resulting impacts. Results show that there is a significant variation in the damage resulting from a unit emission for some of the impact categories, both between countries and between base years. Depending on the scope of the study and the information available from the life cycle inventory, results from the paper can be used to consider site dependent conditions in life cycle impact assessment as a complement to the current site-independent (or global) approach.