We have written about the dangerous particles present in diesel exhaust on the blog earlier this year. Soot is one type of particle found in such exhaust and the US Environmental Protection Agency has just released new standards for soot that should have a positive affect on the quality of our air.
In 1997 soot standards were set at 15 micrograms per cubic meter of air averaged annually. The new standard is set at 12 micrograms per cubic meter. Oil industry leaders have expressed concern that this new rule is only the beginning of draconian regulations coming in the future and some politicians have expressed worry that the rule could place economic burdens on already fiscally strapped communities.
However, the EPA holds that an estimated 40,000 premature deaths would be prevented by this lowering of the soot standard and that health care costs could be cut by as much as $4-9 billion every year.
There are certainly costs associated with coming into compliance with the new soot standards–no one disagrees with that. But, as with the retrofitting of diesel trucks, are these costs worth the benefits to health for our population? Hopefully we can have a healthy economy and a healthy populace.
What do you think?
Wendy Stackhouse is the Online Community Manager for AirTek Indoor Air Solutions and Alliance Environmental Group. She welcomes your comments! For more news and tips or to ask questions of our experts, Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter! For updates on Asbestos, Bed Bugs, Mold, Lead and other environmental issues, Like us at Alliance Environmental Group on Facebook!