Pollution Index

Pollution Index (PI) is the most complicated factor in the CEII, as it should reflect all the byproducts, trash, greenhouse gases and all other pollutants released into the environment. However, for any given substance, the index will be relatively simple:

PI = amount released * relative toxicity * scaling factor

The relative toxicity reflects the fact that not all pollutants are equally dangerous. A ton of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is bad, but a ton of dioxins is so much worse. One of the major tasks of this web site will be providing reasonable estimates of the toxicity. We will start with setting the relative toxicity of carbon dioxide to 1.0, and take it from there.

The scaling factor is the same for all substances and is set to 35.7. Thus, burning one pound of coal, which produces 2.8 pounds of carbon dioxide, have PI value of 100.