The vehicles we drive every day are the source of toxic pollutants in the air we breathe. In 2012, Americans drove nearly 3 trillion miles and burned 133 billion gallons of gasoline -- a staggering number when you consider what it means in terms of air pollution.
Car exhaust and gasoline fumes contain dangerously high levels of particulate matter and gases, including carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, sulfur dioxide and volatile organic compounds like formaldehyde and benzene. The Environmental Protection Agency just issued proposed standards that will clean up our gasoline and set tighter pollution standards for vehicles.
"A Penny for Prevention," a study from the American Lung Association, shows that these tighter standards on vehicle emissions would be the equivalent of removing 33 million cars from the road. That's over 10 times the number of vehicles now on Massachusetts roads.
Chronic exposure to airborne pollutants from gasoline and vehicle emissions contributes to severe asthma attacks and other lung-related health problems, as well as heart disease, stroke, diabetes, cancer and premature births. It's also harmful to anyone who simply enjoys being outside.
The American Lung Association urges our leaders to support the EPA proposal and protect public health by cleaning up emissions from gas fumes and car exhaust.
ANTHONY R. PASQUA
Massachusetts Leadership Board Chair
American Lung Association in Massachusetts