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Two Main Questions


  1. What are the parameters of the facility that can be controlled by the decision makers?
  2. How can the effects on the environment and on the health of certain individuals be quantified?
While there are no definite answers to these questions, we can give some recommendations, thereby providing at least partial answers.
  1. Since we are concerned with locating a new facility, we can safely assume that the question "Must the facility be built anyway?" has already been answered positively. It remains to find an acceptable location for the facility. Therefore, the actual location is represented by two (real-valued) unknowns or parameters which have to be optimized. Since we are assuming that the main environmental effect of the facility is airborne pollution, we consider the height of the point of entry of the pollutant into the atmosphere (e. g. the height of the smokestack) as an additional unknown.

    We assume that production-dependent considerations have already fixed the amount of pollutant released in a given time period, and we assume that the amount released is constant in time. As a consequence, we are naturally led to the conclusion that all the physical and toxicological characteristics of the pollutant are prespecified. This leaves us with the width of the opening of the "smokestack" (or, alternatively, with the speed of the exhaust gas) as one additional decision variable. For more details, we refer to Chapter 5.

    At the present moment, environmental policy issues like the choice of a specific washing system for the exhaust air are not of concern for us. Adding them to the optimization process is certainly possible, but the discussion of the optimal use of these technologies goes beyond the scope of this work.

  2. On an individual level, a well-established measure for carcinogenic effects within a certain organ or tissue is the number of malignant cells appearing within a certain time period. Likewise, a measure for cytotoxic effects is the number of cells which have died during a fixed time period. Note, however, that detrimental effects due to toxicity not leading to the death of certain cells can not be accounted for in this scheme. Since we are dealing with low-toxic doses, actual outbreaks of symptoms are not an issue here.

    Taking now the position of a postulated central authority (i. e. a governmental health care official), the total sum of all health effects over all individuals has to be minimized. The same analysis holds with respect to environmental issues.

    More details with respect to the evaluation of the health effects can be found in Chapter 5.

The refined structure of the system is depicted in Figure 1.2.

Figure 1.2: General structure of the software developed including health effects.  

next up previous contents
Next: The Submodules Up: Overview Previous: Overview

Joerg Fliege
Wed Dec 22 12:25:31 CET 1999