Using DALY for Assessing Human Health Impacts of Conflict Minerals
Paper in proceedings, 2018
Conflict minerals are financing civil warfare in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The minerals are found in many different products, including electronics, chemicals and manufacturing tools. There is therefore a need to include impacts on human health related to the use of conflict minerals in social life cycle assessment (SLCA). The disability-adjusted life years (DALY) indicator, developed for the World Health Organization and the World Bank, is often used to quantify impacts on human health. DALY provides a measure of the number of years lost due to disability and premature death. So far, initial studies have provided early calculations of human health impacts of conflict minerals in terms of DALY. The aim of this study is to conduct an improved assessment of human health impacts of different conflict minerals applying the DALY indicator. Per-kg results for the conflict minerals tin, tantalum, tungsten, gold, copper, cobalt and diamond are presented. Effects on the result from parameter uncertainty and methodological choices, such as which minerals are considered conflict minerals, are also considered. Furthermore, strengths and weaknesses of using DALY to assess human health impacts related to conflict minerals are discussed. The results can subsequently be used by SLCA practitioners to assess impacts on human health related to the use of conflict minerals in specific applications, thus acknowledging the fact that the use of a wide variety of everyday products is connected to considerable human health impacts and indirectly contribute to one of the world’s currently deadliest humanitarian disaster.
Disability-adjusted life years
social life cycle assessment
the Democratic Republic of the Congo