Access to sustainable healthcare infrastructure: a review of industrial emissions, coal fires, and particulate matter

Publication Name

Environmental Science and Pollution Research


Environmental health is critical for the economy’s social welfare and environmental sustainability. Using time series data from 1975 to 2020, the research examines the short- and long-run relationship between environmental pollutants and healthcare costs in the context of Pakistan. The study’s results reveal that short-term and long-term efforts towards cleaner development in terms of carbon emissions, coal combustion, nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions, and industrial value-added have resulted in significant reductions in healthcare expenses due to improved management of industrial emissions. However, in the long run, particulate matter (PM2.5) has a detrimental effect on a country’s sustainable healthcare agenda, leading to increased healthcare costs. Furthermore, the increased use of coal-fired power plants that release polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) and revenue generated by contaminated production lead to higher out-of-pocket healthcare costs, increasing a country’s risk of morbidity and mortality. The study’s Granger causality estimations demonstrate that carbon emissions are responsible for emissions-driven healthcare expenses in a nation. Additionally, economic growth leads to increased carbon emissions and industrial toxins, which are also emission-led. Through variance decomposition analysis (VDA), the study finds that carbon emissions have the highest variance shock of 32.702% on healthcare expenditures in the next ten years. This is followed by polluted income and continued economic growth, which have a variance shock of 13.243% and 8.858%, respectively, over the same period. The findings indicate that the maximum healthcare benefits may be acquired by mitigating environmental pollutants via stringent environmental regulations, reducing industrial toxins through solid waste management techniques, and minimizing coal combustion reliance through renewable fuels. Environmental research is still required to provide more sustainable solutions to the sustainability of the global healthcare agenda.

Open Access Status

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Funding Sponsor

King Saud University



Link to publisher version (DOI)