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Coalition Name. Presenter. Title Email. Date. Health Effects of Transportation Emissions. U.S. Criteria Pollutant Emissions: Transportation’s Share. * Off-road does not include rail, air, or marine. ** This total may not equal the sum of on-road and off-road due to rounding. + Ozone.

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coalition name

Coalition Name





Health Effects of Transportation Emissions

u s criteria pollutant emissions transportation s share
U.S. Criteria Pollutant Emissions: Transportation’s Share

* Off-road does not include rail, air, or marine.

** This total may not equal the sum of on-road and off-road due to rounding.

+ Ozone

VOCs + NOx + Heat + Sunlight = Ozone

other pollutant emissions
Other Pollutant Emissions
  • Greenhouse Gases (GHGs)
    • Carbon Dioxide (CO2)
      • On-road vehicles account for 36% of CO2 pollution in the United States.
    • Methane (CH4)
    • Others
  • Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)
    • On-road vehicles account for 28% of VOC pollution in the United States.
  • Hydrocarbons (HCs)
  • Air Toxics
    • 1,3-Butadiene
    • Formaldehyde
    • Benzene
    • Acetaldehyde
    • Others
adverse health effects of pollutants
Adverse Health Effects of Pollutants
  • Fatigue
  • Chest pain (particularly in people with heart disease)


  • Respiratory symptoms: airway inflammation, aggravated asthma symptoms, emphysema, bronchitis
  • Aggravates heart disease


  • Respiratory symptoms: airway irritation, coughing, decreased lung function, aggravated asthma symptoms, bronchitis
  • Irregular heartbeat


  • Respiratory symptoms: bronchioconstriction, aggravated asthma symptoms, wheezing, chest tightness


adverse health effects of pollutants1
Adverse Health Effects of Pollutants
  • Respiratory symptoms: airway irritation, coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath, aggravated asthma symptoms, pneumonia, bronchitis


  • Effects of climate change:
    • Increased extreme heat waves and extreme weather;
    • Increased risk of infectious diseases;
    • Compromised air quality


  • Eye, nose, throat irritation
  • Headaches, loss of coordination, nausea
  • Damage to liver, kidney, central nervous system
  • Cancer


  • Cancer
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Impaired fertility
  • Blood disorders

Air Toxics

air pollution is widespread
Air Pollution is Widespread
  • Approximately 50% of the U.S. population lives in areas where air pollution levels are high enough to negatively impact public health or the environment.
  • Air pollution hovers at unhealthy levels in almost every major U.S. city.
  • About one in 17 people in the United States lives in an area where fine PM pollution levels are unhealthy year-round.
of particular concern
Of Particular Concern…
  • Areas with heavy highway traffic
    • Individuals living in these areas are at higher risk for heart attack, allergies, premature births, and other conditions.
  • Work-related exposures
    • Studies show that truck drivers, dock workers, and railroad workers may face higher risk of death from lung cancer and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) from breathing diesel emissions on the job.
  • Children
    • Children have developing respiratory systems and a faster breathing rate, so are more susceptible to respiratory disease.
  • Elderly and susceptible populations
    • Pollutants can aggravate symptoms from pre-existing conditions (e.g., asthma, heart conditions).
alternative fuel emissions
Alternative Fuel Emissions
  • Emissions reductions vary among alternative fuels.
  • Study variability makes it difficult to directly compare all alternative fuels.
  • Can be characterized as:
    • Upstream: Emissions from the production and distribution of the fuel used to operate the vehicle
    • Tailpipe: Emissions produced by a vehicle while operating
    • Well-to-wheel: The combination of upstream and tailpipe emissions
alternative fuel ghg emissions
Alternative Fuel GHG Emissions

* Based on grams/mile emissions

tools resources
Tools & Resources
  • Alternative Fuels & Advanced Vehicles Data Center: Alternative Fuel Vehicle Emissions

  • Office of Transportation and Air Quality, EPA

  • Argonne National Laboratory, Greenhouse Gases, Regulated Emissions, and Energy Use in Transportation (GREET) Model

  • U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA): Motor Vehicle Emission Simulator (MOVES)