A new study shows that a biofuel eliminating even 10-percent of current gasoline pollutant emissions would have a substantial impact on human health in this country, especially in urban areas.
“While the successful deployment of biofuels requires research to overcome technical barriers, there are other barriers that can often impose constraints more challenging than those related to technical feasibility, including constraints imposed by health risks,” says Thomas McKone, an expert on health risk assessments who holds a joint appointment with Berkeley Lab’s Environmental Energy Technologies Division and the University of California Berkeley’s School of Public Health.“Just think, if we had done a life cycle impact assessment on the human health effects of gasoline years ago we might not be in the situation we’re facing today.”
A grant from the Energy Biosciences Institute (EBI) has produced the comprehensive LCIA “Life Cycle Impact Assessment” to measure the benefits on human health that might result from a switch to biofuels. EBI is a partnership between UC Berkeley, Berkeley Lab, the University of Illinois and BP, the energy corporation that has provided EBI with a 10-year $500-million grant.
“We found that for the vehicle operation phase of our LCIA, the annual health damages avoided in the U.S. with 10-percent less gasoline-run motor vehicle emissions ranges from about 5,000 to 20,000 DALY, with most of the damage resulting from primary fine particle emissions,” said McKone. “
This new study further confirms the mountain of evidence of the benefits of biofuels.
America needs to move from a gasoline-based transportation fuel for numerous reasons--environmental, economic, national security, and now, health.
Read more the study HERE