-- Robert Preidt
FRIDAY, March 29 (HealthDay News) -- New standards for cleaner
fuel and vehicles proposed Friday will reduce air pollution and
help prevent thousands of deaths and hospitalizations each year,
the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) says.
The EPA's proposals to slash emissions of harmful pollutants
include reducing smog-forming volatile organic compounds and
nitrogen oxides by 80 percent, reducing fuel vapor emissions to
near zero and cutting vehicle emissions of toxic air pollutants,
such as benzene and 1,3-butadiene, by up to 40 percent. A 70
percent tighter particulate matter standard is also
These "common-sense" standards are an "example of how we can
protect the environment and public health in an affordable and
practical way," EPA acting administrator Bob Perciasepe said in an
agency news release.
By 2030, the new regulations will help prevent up to 2,400
premature deaths, 23,000 cases of respiratory ailments in children,
and 3,200 hospital admissions and asthma-related emergency room
visits a year, the EPA estimates.
Each year, the new rules will also prevent 1.8 million lost
school days, work days and days when activities are restricted
because of air pollution.
The health-related benefits will total between $8 billion and
$23 billion a year, according to the EPA news release.
The regulations also would reduce pollution exposure near roads.
More than 50 million Americans live, work or go to school close to
The EPA estimates that the new rules would provide up to $7 in
health benefits for every dollar spent to meet the standards, which
will have an average cost of about $130 per vehicle in 2025.
The agency will accept public comment and hold public meetings
on the proposed standards, which were developed with input from
states, the auto and oil and gas industries, and environmental,
consumer and public health organizations.
The new regulations are designed to be implemented over the same
period as the next phase of EPA's program to reduce greenhouse gas
emissions from cars and light trucks. That phase begins in model
The Union of Concerned Scientists has more about
vehicles and air pollution.
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