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Road emissions cause deaths

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It appears that this long-term push to reduce emissions is not only important for fuel economy and the environment overall but we’ve known that road vehicle pollutants effects our individual health as well. Today we’ll be talking about a study done by Massachusetts Institute of Technology – MIT – researchers that found that emissions from road transportation are a massive contributor to pollutant-related mortalities in the United States.

A team from the MIT Laboratory for Aviation and the Environment observed that of the 200,000 premature deaths in the US caused by changed in concentrations of fine particulate matter measuring 2.5 micrometers every year, the road transportation emissions account for about 53,000 per year, or about one quarter.

The study is titled ‘Air pollution and early deaths in the United States’ was published in the journal Atmospheric Environment. The paper looks at the health impacts of major emissions sectors in the US via a multiscale air quality model.

The study has classified emissions sources into six categories: electric power generation; industry; commercial and residential sources; road transportation; marine transportation and rail transportation.

The result from road transport emissions were the first on the list from power generation – about 52,000 PM2.5-related and 2000 ozone-related, and industry – about 41,000 PM2.5-related and 2000 ozone-related.

According to the researchers’ conclusions, the result indicate the extent to which policy measure could be undertaken so as to mitigate the impact of specific emissions from the various sectors, especially when it comes to black carbon emissions from road transportation and sulfur dioxide emissions from power generation.

When the study is narrowed down to a state-by-state analysis, California suffers the most from air pollution, with about 21,000 early deaths annually being mostly attributed to road transportation and commercial and residential emissions.

So when you hear things about deregulating and defunding environmental institutions and authorities, think again about how this could impact you and your loved ones in the long run.

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