Clean Technologies and Environmental Policy

, Volume 19, Issue 3, pp 679–687 | Cite as

A health-based life cycle impact assessment (LCIA) for cement manufacturing: a comparative study of China and Canada



Life cycle impact assessment methodology was applied to the cement manufacturing sectors in China and Canada for comparative purposes. Primary air emissions of NO x , SO2, PM, and CO were evaluated in terms of intensity per tonne of Portland cement and in respect of their contribution to winter smog. The Eco-Indicator 99 impact category for respiratory effects on humans caused by inorganic substances was used as surrogate for winter smog. Impact was assessed in disability-adjusted life years (DALYs), and damage, normalization, and weighting factors followed the egalitarian perspective. Results indicate some ambiguity for emission intensities with China outperforming Canada in NO x and SO2 while underperforming in PM and CO. However, in terms of impact to human health, China was more than double that of Canada at 14.2 DALYs per tonne of Portland cement. Highlighted by energy-intensive and trade-exposed industry like cement, environmental performance, and emissions leakage (associated with offshoring production) can have serious ramifications on regional air quality. Modernization and innovation in combination with a strong regulatory framework needs to be implemented in both emerging markets and developed markets to minimize emissions leakage and pollution loading.


Portland cement manufacturing Air emissions Energy-intensive and trade-exposed (EITE) industry Leakage Life cycle impact assessment (LCIA) DALYs 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of EngineeringUniversity of British ColumbiaKelownaCanada

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