Serious haze can cause contaminant diseases that trigger productive labour time by raising mortality and morbidity rates in cardiovascular and respiratory diseases. Health studies rarely consider macroeconomic impacts of industrial interlinkages while disaster studies seldom involve air pollution and its health consequences. This study adopts a supply-driven input–output model to estimate the economic loss resulted from disease-induced working-time reduction across 30 Chinese provinces in 2012 using the most updated Chinese multiregional input–output table. Results show a total economic loss of CNY398.23 billion ( ∼ 1% of China's GDP in 2012), with the majority coming from Eastern China and the Mid-South. The total number of affected labourers amounts to 82.19 million. Cross-regional economic impact analysis indicates that the Mid-South, North China, and Eastern China entail the majority of the regional indirect loss. Indeed, most indirect loss in North China, the Northwest and the Southwest can be attributed to manufacturing and energy in other regions, while loss in Eastern China, the Mid-South and the Northeast largely originate from coal and mining in other regions. At the subindustrial level, most inner-regional loss in North China and the Northwest originate from coal and mining, in Eastern China and Southwest from equipment and energy, and in the Mid-South from metal and non-metal. These findings highlight the potential role of geographical distance in regional interlinkages and regional heterogeneity in inner- and outer-regional loss due to distinctive regional economic structures and dependences between the north and south.