Reducing emissions from diesel engines could reduce mortality in large US cities according to a new study by researchers at Cornell University.
The study, conducted by Oliver Gao, a professor of environmental and civil engineering, is based on a fairly interesting fact: freight transport, basically the trucks that make long journeys within the United States, cover less than 6% of all kilometers traveled on the country’s motorways, while accounting for 40% of particulate emissions and 55% of nitrogen oxide emissions.
Gao himself, to emphasize the problem even more, points out that while family cars last in the United States on average 10 to 12 years covering 120,000 miles, a diesel truck can last from 25 to 30 years and can easily get to million miles.
So it is the truck manufacturers who have to work hard to find advanced technologies to reduce air pollution and the various transport companies that use them to ensure that the old trucks are disposed of as soon as possible and that they have a shorter life.
According to the models produced by Gao and his colleagues, models that go as far as 2050, a feasible improvement could be achieved in health terms by containing the emission of diesel exhaust particulates, preventing up to 3600 premature deaths every year in the States alone US. To this would be added a saving estimated at 38 billion dollars a year linked to these lost deaths.