Diesel vehicle emissions are roughly 20 times more impactful to health than electric vehicles and five times more damaging than standard petrol. The researchers linked the exposures to PM2.5 and NOX to 40,000 early deaths.
Cars and vans are responsible for 10,000 early deaths each year, and diesel vehicles are the main problem. The valuation of health effects associated with diesel vehicles are at least five times greater than those associated with petrol vehicles, and around 20 times greater than battery electric vehicles. These results raise important questions as to how best to develop effective and fair air quality and transport strategies in urban areas.
The Global Action Plan commissioned the study in preparation for June 21’s Clean Air Day. Clean Air Day exists to show people how they could protect themselves from the harmful effects of air pollution and encourage the public to look for alternate means of transportation if possible in order to reduce air pollution.
This report clearly illustrates the true cost of air pollution from each petrol and diesel car and van, particularly in inner cities. Swapping 1 in 4 car journeys in urban areas for walking or cycling could save over £1.1 billion in health damage costs per year. Switching 1 million cars from diesel to electric would save more than £360 million per year in health costs from local air pollution. This demonstrates the impact that people’s individual choices can have, so we would look to the government to use Clean Air Day as a springboard for year round public engagement through its new clean air strategy.
Article courtesy of Interesting Engineering