/>
X
Innovation

How air pollution impacts worker productivity

Air pollution impacts human health, but does it also impact how we work?
Written by Tyler Falk, Contributor on

Of course, air pollution has negative impacts on human health, but does it also lead to an unproductive workforce? It seems that way:

[R]esearchers found that a 10 ppb (parts per billion) change in average ozone exposure results in a significant 5.5 percent change in agricultural worker productivity. "These estimates are particularly noteworthy as the U.S. EPA is currently moving in the direction of reducing federal ground-level ozone standards," said Dr. [Matthew] Neidell, PhD. This past September President Obama said he would not support a proposal by the Environmental Protection Agency to tighten the federal ozone standard because it would pose too heavy a burden on businesses...

Those findings come from a study published in the American Economic Review by Matthew Neidell, a professor at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health. What's crazy is that even when ozone levels were below federal air quality standards there were still "significant negative impacts" on workforce productivity. Neidell believes his research can help to flip the thinking that dealing with pollution has a negative impact on businesses to seeing it as an investment in human capital.

Photo: Flickr/NASA

Ozone Levels Have Sizeable Impact On Worker Productivity [Science Daily]

This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com

Editorial standards

Related

The 20 best Cyber Monday deals under $30
Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K

The 20 best Cyber Monday deals under $30

Live blog: 105+ of the best Cyber Monday deals
Large white Cyber Monday text with electronics behind it

Live blog: 105+ of the best Cyber Monday deals

The 52 best Cyber Monday deals on Amazon right now
Image of Amazon Echo Show 8 on a wooden table in front of a person cooking and folding pastry dough.

The 52 best Cyber Monday deals on Amazon right now