53,000 Deaths Per Year Blamed on Vehicle Emissions by MIT

MIT’s Laboratory for Aviation and the Environment has been conducting studies that point out the effect of air pollution and while the news isn’t good, it will hopefully prompt manufacturers and consumers to start making healthier choices. We all ready know that the auto industry has been mandated to lower emissions and there are many vehicles to choose from today that either have lower or zero emissions. In the meantime, the study concluded that roughly around 53,000 premature deaths are attributed to exhaust fumes from tailpipes of daily commuter type of vehicles. This is out of the 200,000 early deaths which are said to be caused from these emissions, industrial operations, commercial and residential sources and other electric-power generation emissions.

Out of those 200,000 deaths, California is the leading state with roughly 21,000 deaths attributed to road transportation emissions and commercial and residential emissions from heating and cooking. Baltimore is the top city for the highest number of emission related deaths per capita. The figures in the study say for this city, “130 out of every 100,000 residents likely die in a given year due to long-term exposure to air pollution.”

The study reports that people who die from air pollution related causes die on average a full ten years earlier than they otherwise might have. To be able to determine this information, the team at MIT used records collected from the Environmental Protection Agency’s National Emissions Inventory. This inventory data is from the year 2005, which is the most recent attainable data.

This study, along with similar studies, provides valuable information for setting future environmental policies. Currently the Tier 3 Vehicle Emission and Fuel Standards Program is in place. This program requires all automakers to lower the emissions on all their new vehicles significantly by the year 2017 and many of the new cars coming out today have all ready begun to focus on these new policies.

Author: Jon Rogers

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