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Old 02-23-2005, 02:19 PM
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The real dark side of death
Study Blames 20,000 Deaths A Year On Diesel Exhaust

POSTED: 7:53 am EST February 23, 2005

WASHINGTON -- Emissions from old diesel engines cause more than 20,000 Americans a year to die sooner than they would have otherwise, an environmental group estimated Tuesday.

An industry group criticized the findings as outdated and misleading.

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The states with the most deaths were New York with 2,332, California with 1,784, and Pennsylvania with 1,170, according to the Boston-based Clean Air Task Force.

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PDF Report: Diesel And Health In America: The Lingering Threat
Web Site Clean Air Task Force
Web Site: Diesel Technology Forum

The group ranked Ohio eighth among the 50 states, with an estimated 769 preventable deaths, 1,002 non-fatal heart attacks and 14,464 asthma attacks each year.

"Diesel exhaust may be the single most severe air pollution threat to people's health here in Ohio," said Staci Putney McLennan, director of clean-air programs for the Ohio Environmental Council.

The metropolitan areas with the highest number of early deaths from diesel engines were New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago, according to the task force. The study included the surrounding suburbs, so New York's estimated total of 2,729 deaths included parts of New Jersey and Connecticut.

The group said it based its figures on the most recent government emissions data - from 1999 - and from public health studies of the effects of various types of air pollutants.

Conrad Schneider, co-author of the report, said regulations designed to make new diesel engines cleaner don't affect millions of older trucks, buses and construction engines.

"Those are great rules, they will hold new engines to higher standards. ... In the meantime, we're stuck with a legacy of dirty diesel engines," said Schneider, advocacy director for Clean Air Task Force, a coalition of regional and local groups.

The Environmental Protection Agency last year required new diesel engines on trucks and buses to cut in half the amount of nitrogen oxides produced. In 2007 emissions are to be cut further.

Since many older diesel engines can run for 30 years, more action is needed by federal, state, and local governments to retrofit existing diesel engines to run more cleanly, the group said.

Retrofits for a typical transit bus can cost about $5,000 to $7,000.

The head of a Washington-based industry group criticized the report's assumptions and conclusions.

"I think they have overstated the risk here using data that's six years old," said Allan Schaeffer, executive director of the Diesel Technology Forum.

Schaeffer said it takes eight modern tractor trailer engines to produce the same amount of pollution generated by one such engine made twelve years ago, and that diesel exhaust comprises just 4.4 percent of fine particle pollution.

"Our industry is getting cleaner faster than most other industries out there," Schaeffer said.

Diesel pollution is blamed for contributing to asthma, respiratory diseases and heart attacks. The study estimates the risk of health complications from diesel exhaust for people living in cities is three times higher than the risk for those in rural areas.

Top 10
Estimated annual early deaths from diesel pollution, according to estimates from the environmental group Clean Air Task Force:

By State:

1. New York 2,332
2. California 1,784
3. Pennsylvania 1,170
4. New Jersey 880
5. Texas 879
6. Illinois 878
7. Florida 805
8. Ohio 769
9. Michigan 484
10. Massachusetts 475

By metropolitan area:

1. New York 2,729
2. Los Angeles 918
3. Chicago 755
4. Philadelphia 727
5. Boston 391
6. Houston 356
7. San Francisco 291
8. Miami 288
9. Baltimore 285
10. Detroit 279

Last edited by MedMech; 02-23-2005 at 02:33 PM.
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Old 02-23-2005, 02:20 PM
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Old 02-23-2005, 03:02 PM
H2O2's Avatar
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The diesels in question are overwhelmingly large low compression direct injection diesels, which are without a doubt more polluting than the small high compression VW and MB indirect diesels of the '80-early '90's. Today, both VW and MB produce high compression direct injection diesels that are much much cleaner than those old smoke belching trucks of yesteryear. The introduction of biodiesel blends into the fuel stream can help all diesels to clean up their act. I'm currently working on a system to further reduce NOx emissions in conjunction with the use of biodiesel fuels.
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Old 02-23-2005, 03:13 PM
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Originally Posted by H2O2
I'm currently working on a system to further reduce NOx emissions in conjunction with the use of biodiesel fuels.
Washington the first in presidents and biodiesel.
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Old 02-23-2005, 03:34 PM
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...and Birkenstocks too.
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Old 02-23-2005, 05:29 PM
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Posts: 1,611
Whatever happened to the twin concepts of the stratified charge and independent secondary combustion catalysts,these things were the dernier cri in the '70's.

I remember reams of technical info devoted to them.
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Old 02-23-2005, 05:43 PM
Larry Delor's Avatar
What, Me Worry?
Join Date: Jun 1999
Location: Sarasota, Fl.
Posts: 3,114
Next thing they will start pointing the finger at the cruise ships and tankers/transport ships. Cruise ship passengers and container shippers will have to pay an extra $5 for Environmental fees. Naturally those fees will serve to help campaign for cleaner air, instead of actually cleaning the air.

Idiots with nothing better to do, than flap their gums.
It is a truism that almost any sect, cult, or religion will legislate its creed into law if it acquires the political power to do so. Robert A. Heinlein

09 Jetta TDI
1985 300D
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Old 02-24-2005, 04:28 PM
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Back then, coal emissions were the concern of the day.

I actually think the diesel emissions issue is a real problem requiring proactive solutions, but we should be clear about which combustion devices are the actual sources of pollution. Diesel powered vehicles shouldn't automatically be lumped together as a monolithic bloc of toxic producers.
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Old 02-24-2005, 06:03 PM
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Join Date: May 2004
Location: Hells half acre (Great Falls, Virginia)
Posts: 16,007
I still think noxious cattle emmissions are a bigger problem than diesel emmissions are.

I know for a fact my brothers toxic gas emmissions are worse that all my diesel vehicles combined.

Proud owner of ....
1971 280SE W108
1979 300SD W116
1983 300D W123
1975 Ironhead Sportster chopper
1987 GMC 3/4 ton 4X4 Diesel
1989 Honda Civic (Heavily modified)
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"He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you." - Friedrich Nietzsche
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