L'approche économique des politiques de prévention des risques liés à la dégradation de l'environnement et à ses effets sur la santé humaine. Cas d'étude : l'application de l'Analyse Coût Bénéfice en vue de réduire l'exposition au plomb et au méthylmercure dans la population infantile française

Abstract : The environment has changed considerably in recent decades due to economic development. These changes have been accompanied by positive effects but also negative because people are exposed to many chemicals, some of which pose health risks. The environmental degradation and its adverse health effects have gradually led policy makers to become aware of the need to engage in development based on an economically sustainable growth model. In this context, prevention policies in environmental health I should be based on a comprehensive approach mobilizing various scientific fields, from toxicology to social sciences through engineering and environmental ecology. In France, public policies hardly use the economic approach as a tool for decision support. Now, the contribution of this approach is undeniable: it may, in particular, measure the reduction of social welfare associated with the health effects of exposure. Economic evaluation can help economic agents disclose their willingness to pay in order to avoid a degradation of their health or welfare, by giving a monetary value on these externalities. In addition to helping decision, it also provides useful and necessary items for public discussion. In this thesis, we selected the Impact Pathway Analysis (IPA) as an assessment method because it precisely defines the nature, magnitude and probability of a given environmental hazard and integrates the economic assessment to measure the monetary impact of reducing risk. This thesis is based on two examples of the effects of environmental pollution on children's health, the cases of lead and mercury, and seeks to highlight the validity of integrating economic evaluation in the process of public decision. Exposure to lead and mercury affects the health of children and may cause serious side effects, such as cognitive and behavioral disorders. The objective of this thesis is to evaluate the economic impact of the exposure of the French child population to these pollutants, and to highlight the costs and benefits of measures that would reduce the risks. To do this, we selected the Cost Benefit Analysis (CBA), which encompasses a cost optimization assessment. The first results of the evaluation show that public policy focused on reducing exposure to these pollutants would achieve monetary benefits of several billion Euros per year as shown by the two first papers presented in the thesis1.2. These benefits include a reduction in future medical expenses and of the burden of special education of young children, and mainly increased productivity of the latter during their adult life. Assessing the costs of investments in programs to reduce emissions of pollutants is useful for public decision so that costs of intervention and the benefit of this reduction can be weighed. Different interventions are possible to reduce emissions and / or exposures: "regulation - emission permits - information" and have different costs and efficiencies. A third paper shows net negative benefits in the case of removal of water pipes containing lead. In a context of allocating scarce resources, the pursuit of efficiency in public policy requires to consider the return on investment, which is allowed by economic evaluation. Following the empirical work in the three articles, the general discussion comes back on contributions, limits and prospects of integration in the economic evaluation of prevention policies and environmental risks of their neurotoxic effects on the health of children
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Céline Dudoy-Pichery. L'approche économique des politiques de prévention des risques liés à la dégradation de l'environnement et à ses effets sur la santé humaine. Cas d'étude : l'application de l'Analyse Coût Bénéfice en vue de réduire l'exposition au plomb et au méthylmercure dans la population infantile française. Médecine humaine et pathologie. Université de Lorraine, 2012. Français. ⟨NNT : 2012LORR0134⟩. ⟨tel-01749761⟩

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