Environmental Management

, Volume 12, Issue 3, pp 285–295 | Cite as

A human ecological assessment of air quality management: A convergence in economic and ecological thinking?

  • R. W. Simpson


Traditional air pollution management practices are examined using the human ecological framework adopted by Boyden and others (1981) in their study of Hong Kong—the biohistorical or biosocial approach. The subsequent analysis of current air quality management practices assesses their effectiveness in protecting the overall health of both humans and the natural environment. The uncertainties inherent in air pollution management practices which emerge highlight the need to reduce emissions rather than rely on scientific knowledge to define “clean” air. The assessment also clearly defines roles for research in various areas such as atmospheric models, health effects, and environmental damage. The final recommendations emphasize the need for the introduction of such incentives to reduce emissions as economic instruments and warn against using health information to define clean air. Health and environmental damage information can, however, be used in risk assessment strategies together with atmospheric dispersion models.

Key words

Air pollution management Human ecology Economic incentives 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag New York Inc. 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. W. Simpson
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Australian Environmental StudiesGriffith UniversityNathanAustralia

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