Economic cost of inaction calculator

Estimating health impacts and economic costs


The purpose of this calculator, built on Microsoft Excel, is to calculate attributable Disability Adjusted Life Years (DALYs), full scale intellectual quotient (IQ) decrement, and economic costs resulting from chemicals exposure. The calculator returns a dollar amount of the economic cost of inaction on chemicals management in a certain area or site. The model is not intended to produce a definitive calculation of health and economic outcomes, but rather an indicative estimate based on the best available information.



The disability adjusted life year (DALY) is a metric developed by the World Bank in the 1990s and widely employed in burden of disease studies. A DALY represents a productive year of life lost either due to morbidity and mortality. It is the sum of two separate metrics, years lived with disease (YLD) and years of life lost (YLL).

Full scale intelligence quotient (IQ) is a measure of intelligence and cognitive ability most commonly assessed in children with the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children. In any given population, IQ is normally distributed with a mean of 100 and a standard deviation of 15.


What data is needed to use the calculator?


The model accepts different types of data inputs, including environmental and biological sampling data, as well as more general information about chemicals use or distribution. To allow for this level of flexibility in the model, a number of assumptions are employed at different stages.


About the developer


Pure Earth is an international non-profit organization dedicated to solving pollution problems in low- and middle-income countries, where human health is at risk. Formerly known as the Blacksmith Institute, since its inception in 1999, Pure Earth has completed 110 environmental remediation projects in 27 countries, improving the lives of millions of people, especially children, who are most at risk from the threat of toxic pollution. Pure Earth works cooperatively around the world in partnerships that include governments, the international community, NGOs and local agencies, to design and implement innovative, low-cost solutions to save lives.




Download the latest version of the calculator, along with the associated guidance document below.

Economic Cost of Inaction Calculator

Economic Cost of Inaction Calculator

Pure Earth

Economic Cost of Inaction Guidance

Pure Earth