Five Local Governments Commit to Purchase Cleaner Vehicles; American Lung Association of California Pushes for More.Environmental & Political Editors
OAKLAND, Calif.--(BW HealthWire)--May 15, 2002
Statewide Campaign Raises Awareness about Diesel Exhaust, Particulate
Matter and Cleaner Alternatives During Clean Air Month
The American Lung Association The American Lung Association (ALA) is a non-profit organization that "fights lung disease in all its forms, with special emphasis on asthma, tobacco control and environmental health". wants Californians to know that air pollution can make them sick, and vehicles, including diesel trucks and buses, are the major culprit. The solutions are simple, including clean fleet ordinances and resolutions from local governments.
Cleaner alternatives are available, and the American Lung Association of California believes that cities and counties should be key partners in the fight against air pollution, especially because of the money available and spent on local government vehicle fleets each year. When cities and counties make public commitments to purchase cleaner vehicles, as five have done already, they provide cleaner air for their communities and push the market for cleaner vehicles. The five local governments that have cleaner fleet ordinances or resolutions in California are: County of Contra Costa Contra Costa can refer to:
May is the American Lung Association's Clean Air Month, and the organization continues its public information campaign in California to raise public awareness about the health dangers of diesel exhaust and other air pollutants, as well as realistic solutions to these problems. It continues its work to encourage cities and counties to adopt cleaner vehicle ordinances, and to encourage everyone to advocate for more zero-emission and ultra-low-emission vehicles in California.
"A major problem is the proliferation of sport utility vehicles This page lists sports utility vehicles currently in production (as of April 2007), as well as past models. The list includes crossover SUVs, Mini SUVs, Compact SUVs and other similar vehicles. ," said John Balmes, MD, president of the California Thoracic Society, the American Lung Association of California's medical section. "It's ridiculous to be driving a truck to the grocery store. We need to switch over to zero-emission and ultra-low-emission vehicles to reduce emissions."
The American Lung Association of California is offering print ads that provide health facts about diesel and tell Californians "There's Even More You Should Know About Diesel." (For free copies, visit: http://californialung.org/spotlight/cleanair01_ads.html).
Diesel exhaust has been linked to lung cancer lung cancer, cancer that originates in the tissues of the lungs. Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in the United States in both men and women. Like other cancers, lung cancer occurs after repeated insults to the genetic material of the cell. . It has been listed as a known human carcinogen carcinogen: see cancer.
Agent that can cause cancer. Exposure to one or more carcinogens, including certain chemicals, radiation, and certain viruses, can initiate cancer under conditions not completely understood. since 1990, and in 1998, the California Air Resources Board California Air Resources Board (CARB) is the "clean air agency" of the state of California in the United States. Established originally in 1967, it is a part of the California Environmental Protection Agency, an organization which reports directly to the California (CARB) formally listed diesel particulate as a Toxic Air Contaminant contaminant /con·tam·i·nant/ (kon-tam´in-int) something that causes contamination.
something that causes contamination. . In fact, diesel particulates are the most significant source of air toxics in California and account for 70 percent of the cancer risk from toxic air contaminants statewide, according to according to
1. As stated or indicated by; on the authority of: according to historians.
2. In keeping with: according to instructions.
3. CARB. Diesel exhaust can also exacerbate lung diseases such as asthma and emphysema emphysema (ĕmfĭsē`mə), pathological or physiological enlargement or overdistention of the air sacs of the lungs. A major cause of pulmonary insufficiency in chronic cigarette smokers, emphysema is a progressive disease that commonly .
Diesel exhaust is a major contributor to ozone air pollution. Despite their small numbers compared to the total vehicles in California, diesel engines account for 40 percent of the total nitrogen oxide Noun 1. nitrogen oxide - any of several oxides of nitrogen formed by the action of nitric acid on oxidizable materials; present in car exhausts
pollutant - waste matter that contaminates the water or air or soil emissions (NOx). NOx contributes to the formation of ground level ozone (smog). A comprehensive study of children in Southern California Southern California, also colloquially known as SoCal, is the southern portion of the U.S. state of California. Centered on the cities of Los Angeles and San Diego, Southern California is home to nearly 24 million people and is the nation's second most populated region, shows that ozone air pollution may actually cause asthma.
The American Lung Association has been working hard in California to reduce emissions from diesel-powered cars, buses and trucks by advocating the steady transition from diesel to cleaner fuels such as natural gas, electricity and fuel cells.
More than 4 million Californians have lung disease, which is a leading cause of death in America and is growing faster than almost any other leading killer.
Particulate matter particulate matter
n. Abbr. PM
Material suspended in the air in the form of minute solid particles or liquid droplets, especially when considered as an atmospheric pollutant.
Noun 1. is among the most harmful of all air pollutants. When inhaled, these tiny particles can lodge deep into the lungs. Particulate matter is especially harmful to people with lung disease and heart disease. Recent research has linked exposure to relatively low levels of particulate matter with premature death Premature Death occurs when a living thing dies of a cause other than old age. A premature death can be the result of injury, illness, violence, suicide, poor nutrition (often stemming from low income), starvation, dehydration, or other factors. . Those at greatest risk are the elderly and people with pre-existing respiratory or heart disease.
The American Lung Association is urging the California Air Resources Board to adopt the stringent new air quality standards for particulate matter currently included in the staff proposal going to the Board for a June vote. The proposal, which significantly strengthens the current standards, includes new standards for fine particles, less that 2.5 microns in diameter, and revised standards for coarse particles. If implemented, the proposed new standards for particulate matter air pollution would result in 6,500 fewer premature deaths annually and 389,000 fewer days of lower respiratory symptoms in children annually.
The American Lung Association of California is also urging the state to rely more on renewable energy such as wind, solar and geothermal for electricity generation. Renewable energy is a cleaner alternative to power plants and a viable option. It already provides about 11 percent of the state's electricity.
During its Clean Air Month in May, the American Lung Association reminds individuals, companies and organizations that everyone can make a difference in the fight against air pollution. Californians can help reduce air pollution by driving less and making their next vehicle a zero-emission vehicle such as an electric car. In fact, reduced purchase and rental rates are available on cleaner-fueled vehicles at the American Lung Association's web site through a partnership with EV Rental Cars (http://californialung.org/spotlight/evrental.html).
Businesses, schools and other organizations can fight air pollution by encouraging carpooling and bicycling, offering incentives for using low-pollution forms of transportation, encouraging employees to telecommute See telecommuting. whenever possible and purchasing company vehicles and buses powered by cleaner fuels such as electricity, compressed natural gas Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) is a substitute for gasoline (petrol) or diesel fuel. It is considered to be an environmentally "clean" alternative to those fuels. It is made by compressing natural gas (which is mainly composed by methane (CH4 or fuel cells.
Californians can also commute to school, work or play using the original zero-emission vehicle, the bicycle. The American Lung Association of California is a cosponsor co·spon·sor
tr.v. co·spon·sored, co·spon·sor·ing, co·spon·sors
To function in the capacity of a joint sponsor of: corporations that cosponsored a marathon.
n. of the California Bike Commute, a weeklong bike-to-work event held every May. This year, commuters are encouraged to try this healthy alternative during the California Bike Commute, May 13-17.
For more information about Clean Air Month activities in your area, call your local American Lung Association at 1.800.LUNG.USA or visit our web site at www.californialung.org.
The American Lung Association, which has been fighting lung disease for more than 95 years, is one of the only voluntary health agencies that advocates for clean air policies. With the generous support of the public and the help of our volunteers, we have seen many advances against lung disease. However, our work is not finished. In our second century, we will continue to strive to make breathing easier for everyone. Along with our medical section, the California Thoracic Society, we provide educational programs, community service, advocacy and research. The American Lung Association's activities are supported by Christmas Seals and Chanukah and Kwanzaa e-Greetings, along with other voluntary contributions. For more information, visit www.californialung.org.
Editors Note: The American Lung Association of California is relying on donated ad space for this related Spanish and English print ad campaign regarding diesel health impact.