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Project at a Glance

Project Status: complete

Report Published 1985:

Title: Assessment of material damage and soiling from air pollution in the South Coast Air Basin.

Principal Investigator / Author(s): Murray, Douglas R

Contract Number: A2-120-32

Topic Areas: Acid Deposition


This report describes a study to provide and apply a methodology for estimating some of the costs of air pollution and soiling damage to selected materials in the California's South Coast Air Basin (SCAB). A combination of land use and census data plus field and telephone survey techniques were used to estimate the types and quantities of exposed materials in the SCAB. The total exposed area of materials on structures was estimated at 5.6 x 129 sq. ft. for the SCAB based on census data. Painted wood and painted stucco accounted for 60 percent of the total exposed material.

Published damage functions that relate damage (e.g., corrosion or soiling) to air quality together with geographically distributed air quality measurements were applied to the materials inventory to develop quantitative estimates of pollutant induced materials damage in the SCAB. The total amounts of damage for each material for which there was a damage function were converted to maintenance costs based upon assumptions of use and maintenance.

The monetary cost of increased maintenance from air pollution induced effects in the SCAB was estimated to be $42 million per year. This economic loss was dominated by soiling and erosion of latex paint. This project did not estimate the costs of damage to several important materials found in the SCAB, such as glass and concrete, because air pollution damage functions do not exist for these materials.


For questions regarding this research project, including available data and progress status, contact: Research Division staff at (916) 445-0753

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