Economic Burden of the Environment on the Health of Children in Minnesota - Minnesota Department of Health

Economic Burden of the Environment on the Health of Children in Minnesota

The Economic Burden of the Environment on Two Childhood Diseases (PDF)

The Cost of Prenatal Mercury Exposure in Minnesota (PDF)

Childhood diseases have substantial impacts on families and communities. These reports focus on three important environmentally related health issues in Minnesota's children: asthma, blood lead poisoning, and mercury exposure. They estimate the health impact, the economic cost, and the fractions of these conditions that are attributable to environmental causes.

For these reports, the Minnesota Tracking Program collaborated with the CDC and other state tracking programs, including California, Connecticut, Florida, New Hampshire, Oregon, and Utah. MN Tracking worked closely with the MDH Asthma Program, the MDH Lead and Healthy Homes Program, and the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency.

The purpose of these reports are to help inform policy-makers about the health and economic benefits of policy, actions and interventions for reducing these childhood diseases.

Asthma and Lead Poisoning in Minnesota

The Economic Burden of the Environment on Two Childhood Diseases (PDF) focuses on two important environmentally related health conditions in Minnesota's children: asthma and blood lead poisoning. It documents the economic cost of both conditions in one year, 2010, from current data and estimates the fraction that is attributable to environmental causes. It focuses on environmental factors that are amenable to interventions.

The Cost of Prenatal Mercury Exposure

The Cost of Prenatal Mercury Exposure in Minnesota (PDF) is a supplement to the 2014 Economic Burden that estimates the health impacts and economic cost of prenatal mercury exposure that can be attributed to human-caused sources of mercury in the environment.

Key findings

  • The total economic burden of childhood asthma in Minnesota in 2010 attributable to the environment is $31.6 million in 2014 dollars (ranging from $10.5 million to $36.9 million)
  • The total economic burden of childhood lead poisoning in Minnesota on lifetime earnings is $1.9 billion (in 2014 dollars)
  • Nearly 6,000 children born each year in Minnesota are potentially impacted by elevated mercury exposure
  • Prenatal mercury exposure resulted in an estimated $32.6 million of lost lifetime earnings for babies born in Minnesota each year

Limitations

  • These reports likely underestimates the true cost of environmentally attributable asthma episodes, lead poisoning, and mercury exposure to Minnesota's economy. This is because there are impacts and costs that the data cannot be estimate.
  • The burden and cost of environmentally attributed disease in Minnesota's children is not shared equally across all communities in the state. This is because exposure to environmental hazards and population vulnerability are not equal in all populations.
  • These reports may be used to inform grant- and proposal-writing, to plan interventions, and to communicate with MDH partners, by public health practitioners, and by policy makers.

More information

Learn more about asthma or childhood lead exposure in Minnesota at the MN Public Health Data Access portal.

If you have questions about these reports, contact the MN Tracking Program at health.tracking@state.mn.us.

Updated Tuesday, 26-Jul-2022 11:00:04 CDT