There have been many car pollution facts recorded in the last 100 years. The history of car pollution has been one of air and water contamination followed by regulated improvement. Cars may be fun, useful, and profitable, but except for shiny exteriors and new smelling interiors, they are not clean. Cars have long put millions of tons of dirt and bad chemicals into the air and water. This trend had been led by consumer demand followed by profiting manufacturers, oil companies, and government inaction.
Car Pollution Facts
Car pollution facts - General
- Cars pollute the air, water and land.
- Cars today are in fact much cleaner than 30 years ago.
But, there are many more cars driving many more miles.
- Cars and trucks cause a lot of air the pollution in the world
today, and contribute a lot to the most common and
dangerous air pollutants.
- China and the USA alone produce close to half of the
world's carbon dioxide...much of that from cars.
- SUVs pollute a lot more than cars.
- Most ozone pollution is caused by cars and trucks.
- Your car makes carbon dioxide based only on how many
gallons of gasoline your car burns.
- It's not the kind of car you drive, but how many miles you
drive it and how many gallons of gas you burn that counts.
- Car tires wear out as you drive on them and the particles
from those tires go into the air.
- The air near within a few hundred yards or so of big streets
is most likely polluted with harmful particulates from, and
stirred up by, traffic.
- Car washes make our cars shine, but put pollutants into
streams, waterways, and eventually drinking water.
- The National Geographic reports more tornadoes in the USA
during the week than on the weekend. Weekday commuter
pollutants are to blame!
- The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality says that
people idling their cars while waiting to pick up their kids
from school create local pollution hot spots that can make
kids sick from asthma, to bronchitis and pneumonia.
Israel takes action to reduce car air pollution.
The plan is to get clunkers off the road. Similar legislation has been used in the USA.
Top 10 US clunkers paid to retire:
1. Ford Explorer 4WD
2. Ford F150 Pickup 2WD
3. Jeep Grand Cherokee 4WD
4. Ford Explorer 2WD
5. Dodge Caravan/Grand Caravan 2WD
6. Jeep Cherokee 4WD
7. Chevrolet Blazer 4WD
8. Chevrolet C1500 Pickup 2WD
9. Ford F150 Pickup 4WD
10. Ford Windstar FWD Van
Car pollution facts - Amounts of air pollution
- 25% of cars, clunkers, put out 90% of car air pollution.
- Newer small diesel cars produce pollution at up to 25 times EU legal
- Measuring amounts of air pollution accurately is questioned. It appears
methods used have underestimated air pollution - a lot. This according to
work in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences' Online Early
- According to the non-profit International Council on Clean Transportation
(ICCT), new car CO2 emissions are actually 25% higher on average than
- According to the National Geographic, over half the air pollution in the
USA is caused by transport, mostly automobiles.
-1,400 new vehicles arrive in New Delhi, India daily adding to 7 million
already there, a 65 percent increase since 2003. Resulting fine particle
pollution has gone up around 47 percent and NOx rose 57 percent as well
- from the New Delhi Journal.
- 70% of air pollution in Chinese cities is from cars and trucks.
- 42% of air pollution in Dubai is from cars and trucks.
- 17% of air pollution in Hong Kong is caused by the 550,000 gas burning
- 80% of air pollution in Manila, the Philippines is from auto traffic.
- CO2 emissions from U.S. cars & trucks alone is about 1 million TONS
- CO2 emissions from all volcanoes is about ½ million TONS per day.
- Human activities release over 130 times the amount of CO2 emitted by
- About 5-7% of the particles from worn out tires heads into the air as
PM10 or less sizes. These PM sizes are bad for the lungs.
- 2010 cars are about 20 times cleaner than cars 20 years ago.
- CO (carbon monoxide) emissions have decreased a significant amount.
- HC (hydrocarbon) emissions have decreased a significant amount.
- PM 2.5 emissions have been lowered with cleaner fuels.
- PM 10 emissions will only improve with less vehicular travel.
- It is estimated that of the CO2 emissions produced over a car's lifespan,
from its manufacture and 5% from its disposal, with the remaining 85%
coming from fuel use and servicing operations.
- Sleeper cab diesel rigs idle 28 hours per week, burning 1500 gallons of
fuel per year per rig.
- Traffic congestion wastes billions of gallons of gas.
Car pollution facts - Health effects
-Diesel cars in the UK emit up to 14 times more toxic pollution than specified
by the manufacturers. It is projected the by 2021 200,000 people in the UK
will likely perish from the effects of air pollution.
- Air pollution kills some 2,700 per year in Tehran, Iran. Thousands of old
cars driving around to are largely to blame.
- Researchers at MIT’s Laboratory for Aviation and the Environment have
that annually some 53,000 people die prematurely from road transport in
the USA. By comparison, there were 58,151 casualties in the Vietnam
- High levels of car and truck pollution increases hyperactivity (ADHD) in
kids according to work published in the journal Environmental Health
- Moms in highly car polluted areas have smaller babies which is not good
for their health. This is according to The Journal of Environmental Health
- The Stanford School of Medicine says Moms living in the San Joaquin
Valley of California during their early weeks of pregnancy had an elevated
risk of having birth defects in their newborns due to air pollution.
- China has its share of newborns with birth defects. In the highly polluted
Shanxi province, 140 babies out of 10,000 born have had congenital
neural tube defects. The findings are in the Aug 2, 2011 Proceedings of
the National Academy of Sciences.
- The Lancet medical journal reported in Dec 2012 that some 1.2 million
premature births in China were the result of bad air.
- India experienced 620,000 preemies in the same time.
- According Government of Scotland data, up to 3,000 people die there
from car induced air pollution. This is in contrast to 190 killed per year in
- About 80 people per DAY are killed in the USA from car induced air
- Air Particulate Matter pollution kills an average of 40,000 per year in the
U.S. and up to some 200,000 in Europe.
- 1996 EPA report: cars, trucks, and buses produce over 3,000 cases of
- China's 14 largest cities: air pollution kills 50,000 newborn babies.
- Chinas 14 largest cities: air pollution is responsible for 400,000 cases of
respiratory illness every year.
- In the formerly beautiful Hangzhou China, the sky is grey from car
- Car exhaust has also been linked to asthma, bronchitis, and other health
- If you think bad air affects only other people, think again. New information
shows that air pollution from traffic increases the chance of heart attack
for everybody breathing that air. The results are in the Journal Lancet.
- Car pollution caused "significant damage" to neurons involved in learning
and memory, and "signs of inflammation associated with premature aging
and Alzheimer's disease." The damage was to lab mice.
- Intensive Car and truck pollution is shown to increase the risk of
premature birth by
30%. The Univ. of Ca. Reports from traffic related air quality data in In
- Chronic Car pollution in Denmark increases the Risk for Diabetes in
healthy folks by some 4%. The Nitrogen oxides in car pollution seems to
be the culprit.
- Those in dirty diesel areas are up to 3 times more likely to contract
deadly lung cancer than those in cleaner air areas.
- Research by the Columbia Center for Children's Environmental Health
shows that kids in highly inner city areas are way more likely to be obese
due to high pollution levels from cars and trucks. Diesel busses and
trucks are the worst.
- Hong Kong residents are heading to the Emergency Room in increasing
numbers and passing away at the rate of 3,200 per year or nearly 10 per
day due to bad air. Many plan to move to escape the particulate poisons.
- Some 4,000 London residents per year face early death to car pollution
according to a report by the Kings College in London.
Car air pollution has a price. Recent work by Dresden Tech. shows every UK citizen pays £600 about $1,000 USD per year as a result of car pollution, noise and accidents.
Obesity is linked to high levels of car and truck pollution - diesel busses and trucks the worst
Car pollution facts - Typical amounts of fuel burned
- Americans use nearly 400 million gallons of gasoline every
day (not all in cars)
- California alone uses over 40 million gallons per day, about
equal to China...China is quickly catching up
- 400 million gallons will fill a 600 acre lake about 2 feet deep
Just 25% of cars produce 90% of car air pollution.
Hong Kong air pollution is at the highest levels ever recorded - ageing cars to blame
More tornadoes during the week! Traffic pollutants increase nuclei in the air that builds tornado producing clouds.
Google Street View cars now can track air pollution. The cars can measure a variety of pollutants including: nitrogen dioxide, nitric oxide, ozone, carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, methane, black carbon, particulate matter, and Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs).
According to the IEA: to keep global temps from rising 2º Celsius by 2030, there will need to be some 100 million EVs on the road by that time.