aircounts logoA new online tool, AirCounts, claims to help large and medium-sized cities calculate the health benefits of air quality improvements and the economic value of those benefits, according to tool developer Abt Associates.

“As cities across the globe begin establishing climate change policies and programs that include improving air quality, they’ll need to answer questions about the health benefits and economic value that can be realized from those programs,” said Mike Conti, vice president of Abt Associates’ Environment & Resources Division.

On the interactive site, visitors can choose any city and see its profile, including its fine particulate matter (PM2.5) level, the city’s population, income per capita and adult mortality rate. By using the online calculator, they can determine the benefits of various levels of emissions reductions.

AirCounts can be used to calculate such public health benefits as decreased cardiovascular and respiratory problems, also associated with PM2.5 emissions, according to Abt. The company offers other tools including CarbonCounts, a system for reporting and verifying progress in climate change initiatives, to help governments track and manage their climate change projects.