Affluent countries inflict inequitable mortality and economic loss on Asia via PM2.5 emissions

Keisuke Nansai, Susumu Tohno, Satoru Chatani, Keiichiro Kanemoto, Midori Kurogi, Yuta Fujii, Shigemi Kagawa, Yasushi Kondo, Fumiya Nagashima, Wataru Takayanagi, Manfred Lenzen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Citations (Scopus)


This research sets out to quantify the mortality and economic loss in individual Asian countries caused by the PM2.5 emissions induced by the consumption of the world's five highest-consuming countries (US, China, Japan, Germany, UK). In 2010 alone, the economic impact of these five countries’ consumption caused a loss of almost 45 billion US dollars due to the premature deaths of more than 1 million people in Asia, including 15 thousand children younger than 5 years old. The percentage ratio of economic loss to value-added driven by consumers via trade differed greatly among the impacted countries. For the US, the highest percentage loss was 4.1% in Laos, followed by 2.0% in Bangladesh, both markedly higher than the figures for the more developed countries, such as 0.21% for Japan and 0.18% for Korea. This reflects the inequitable value chain existing between consumer countries and impacted countries, and implies that developing countries are obtaining value-added in exchange for unintentionally increased health risks, delaying their development and potentially creating a vicious circle that hinders much-needed improvements in areas like poverty reduction and public health. This inequitable situation needs to be redressed through introduction of clean energy and other types of technological assistance to help achieve United Nations Sustainable Development Goals 7, 10 and 13. Such as move is essential if premature infant deaths are to be curtailed.

Original languageEnglish
Article number105238
JournalEnvironment international
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Environmental Science


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