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The new diesel emissions controls being put into place by the EPA control non road diesel fuel, and truck and bus emissions. This includes all farm equipment and other large pieces of diesel equipment. Non road diesel fuel is not taxed and it is also dyed red. It is also refined a lot less and has serious consequences on the environment.
The particles emitted by diesel engines are referred to as small particulate matter or SPM. The most dangerous particles are 3.5 microns and smaller. Ninety percent of all particles are less than 1 micron in diameter. Long term exposure to these particles causes tumor growth. The cancer causing chemicals that are present in the particles are called polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons. Other cancer causing chemicals emitted during diesel combustion are benzene, arsenic and formaldehyde. (Pegg)
The particles have also been linked to increases in asthma in children who are living in areas with high truck traffic. The particles bind with pollen in the air increasing the allergic reaction. Children are especially susceptible to truck pollution and many times suffer from reduced lung function. Increasing rates of asthma in inner city children are being blamed on high diesel emissions (Cleaning)
Diesel emissions also contain high levels of nitrogen oxides and ozone which combine with other pollutants to create ground level smog.
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attacks and 5,700 children's asthma-related emergency room visits. This will save billions of dollars in hospital bills.
Currently the biggest polluters of sulfur are farming and heavy equipment. Because they use non road diesel fuel which contains more sulfur than on road diesel fuel. Currently the non road fuel has an average of 3,400 parts per million of sulfur. The new standards starting in 2007 will bring the fuel up to the current on road standards, which is 500 parts per million. By 2010 the standard will be tightened to 15 parts per million for on and off road fuels. Boats and trains will have to 2012 to meet the new 15 parts per million standards.(Pegg)
This reduction will lower sulfur emissions by 99% overall. Small particulate matter will be reduced by 90% this is the equivalent to 125,000 tons. By 2030 when the standards are fully phased in the environmental and health benefits will equal 80 billion dollars while only costing 1.5 billion annually. Over all the fuel will cost an extra 4.8 to 7 cents per gallon. The refineries will have to upgrade their facilities to produce this fuel. (Diesel)
Other benefits of the new diesel emissions are environmental the standards will decrease greenhouse gases and decrease smog. Acid rain will also be reduced by the new standards. By lowering the ozone levels in large cities by one third could save an estimated 4,000 lives a year. (Cleaning)
The auto truck and equipment manufactures must produce cleaner burning engines to avoid getting serious fines. In 1998 car manufacturers were fined 83 million dollars for using computer technology to pass laboratory tests.
The cars released unlawfully high amounts of pollution during actual use. Many manufactures are trying to perfect and release largely untested engines for use in years to come. The manufacturers are falling behind in engine technology but are developing other means of emissions control.
School buses are being targeted for clean up due to the fact that they are dirty due to lots of stop and go conditions. Short haul and stop and go traffic is the worst because more people are subjected to the ground level soot. There are many alternatives in the fight against diesel pollution. Emission control devices and cleaner burning fuels and alternative fuels. (Pegg)
Bio diesel is a clean burning fuel derived from used fryer oil. Bio diesel fuel is the only alternative fuel that passes the health effects testing requirements of the 1990 Clean Air Act Amendments. Many of the by products of the process of making bio diesel are useful. Like Glycerin for making soap. Many people have already begun to use this fuel in their vehicles and personal farming equipment.
Problems of the new regulations include the upgrades on the trucks that go along with the new fuel. Also many trucks will need to be replaced because of the actual emissions testing. Rising fuel costs also have many trucking and agricultural companies complaining. Many do not think it is practical to introduce the new emissions as quickly as they are. Although there are oil companies who already offer the 15 parts per million low sulfur fuel.(Pegg)
The health and environmental benefits of decreasing diesel emissions are outstanding. Just like when lead was removed from Gasoline it will greatly impact the
environment in a good way. Really it seems like the standards for diesel fuels should have been phased in along time ago.
Gasoline was first on the list to get cleaned up. Oil refineries had to up grade in the last ten years to cut out the amount of sulfur in gasoline. Now diesel is next with big task which the refineries are facing. Diesel engine manufacturers like Cummings and Caterpillar creating and testing new engine designs they must create the technology to keep up with the new emission demands.
The problem is that the companies who already produce clean diesel fuel can sell credits to other companies who do not meet the newer standards. So it is going to be a long time before anybody sees clean diesel nation wide. With more fuel being consumed each year, and the threat of global warming becoming more and more real. It is necessary that all fuel be cleaned up as soon as possible.
May other things can affect the efficiency of diesel fuel. New additives are being formulated which keep the engine cleaner so it consumes less fuel, and burns it more efficiently. Gasoline has also had many additives introduced to it in recent years which work in similar ways.
With the introduction of cleaner fuels and new additives it seems like the fuel will be cleaned up. Many people are skeptical about the wholes deal will refineries clean up in time will the manufacturers create cleaner power from new models. How can all of
the trucks in the country pass the new emission laws without upgrading whole fleets of trucks? (diesel)
Everything from lung disease, cancer, infant mortality and many other upper respiratory problems have been linked to diesel emissions. The partials are so small they
travel right into the lungs where they just sit and cause disease. The partials are less than one fifth the size of a human hair in diameter. They are extremely difficult to cough out or even breathe out. Many other things can also contribute to the increase in upper respiratory problems. Asbestos and other cancer causing chemicals which take years to break down could be part of the health problems.
Europeans are having an even bigger problem with diesel soot due to the fact that 75 to 80 percent of all Europeans drive diesel powered cars. They also relay on diesel for their public and commercial transportation. The diesel soot which is referred to the deadly dust is causing tremendous health problems all over Europe. It is said that it is reducing the life expectancy of Europeans by two to Four years. (Cleaning)
Many people are concerned that something similar will happen in large American cities. The health problems being presented by diesel soot are outstanding. With child hood Asthma on the rise and also cancer the controls seem a little too late. The standards for fuels have been phased in over the last 15 years. The results will not come quickly but the steps are being made to clean up Americas fuels. Soon, with cleaner diesel we might be able to start to breathe a little deeper and not have to worry about how much soot we are inhaling.
"Cleaning Up Air Pollution from Large Diesel Tucks and Buses." 29 November 2004.
"Diesel Emissions" 29 November 2004.
Pegg, R. "Tough non-road diesel rule cuts sulfur 99 precent" 29 November 2004.