Dynamic Analysis of Environmental Factors Affecting Health Costs Applying a System Approach (Case Study: Zanjan City, Iran)

Document Type: Research Paper


1 Industrial Engineering Dep., Engineering Faculty, Kharazmi University

2 Industrial Engineering Dep., Engineering Faculty, Kharazmi University, Tehran, Iran


Background and objective: Today, due to the growth of technology in various societies and in line with the industrialization of the global community, environmental issues are becoming a serious threat to human health and consequently, to the economy of the international community. The city of Zanjan, as a case study of this research, has been witnessing various civil protests in this regard and over the past years due to environmental concerns.
Methodology: System Dynamics (SD) methodology is applied to simulate the dynamics of environmental pollutions of the various industries affecting health costs. Dealing with SD, study has been applying content analysis technique to select the most repetitive variables applied with similar studies which led study to the early mental model (causal loop diagram). Interview with experts is the next step which would assist the study to make the early dynamic model. The modified dynamic model has been grasped as the structural validation is conducted within 4 divisions of boundary adequacy test, extreme condition test, dimensional consistency test and parameter assessment test. Finally, the secondary validation including: behavior replication test and family tests have been assessed to assure the compliance of model outputs with the historical records.
Results: According to the simulation, the most prior recommendations are: "Long-term policies for less utilization of non-renewable resources", "Increasing the life of industrial capital through the promotion of maintenance and repair departments", "Replacing fossil fuels with natural gases and enhancing their combustion quality" and "desertification policies to combat the release of solid PM10 particles".
Conclusions: Based on the results of the study, long term policies to find out the appropriate tradeoff for exploitation of renewable and nonrenewable energies in order to minimize their pollution will have a bigger effect on the citizen’s health costs comparing other policies like desertification.