You go, but something stays behind.

You put gas in the gas tank, you turn the key, and you go.
Trouble is, not all the gas you put in the car is making it go.
Some of it comes out of the tailpipe as exhaust.

Here's what you toss into the air
for every 100 miles you drive:

5.5 pounds of carbon monoxide

80 pounds of carbon dioxide

.67 pounds of hydrocarbons

.4 pounds of nitrogen oxide

 

The average Vermont driver puts about
17,000 miles a year on his/her car.
Do the math and you'll see how serious
auto pollution is for just one driver:

935 pounds of carbon monoxide

13,600 pounds of carbon dioxide

114 pounds of hydrocarbons

68 pounds of nitrogen oxide

And you thought exhaust just sort of disappeared . . . it doesn't.
It comes back in the form of all sorts of problems.

 

No wonder exhaust comes out of the back of the car

Motor vehicles are the largest source of ozone-forming pollutants in Vermont.
Each year vehicles emit more than 234 million pounds of carbon monoxide,
20 million pounds of hydrocarbons, and 28 million pounds of nitrogen oxides. Yuck!

 

How serious is this ozone stuff?
Well, every summer Vermont's ozone levels come close to exceeding U.S. standards.
And although the levels may still be within our standards, in lots of other places you'd be told to stay inside.


My mom says the air is cleaner now than when she was a kid.

Your mom is right -- sort of. Levels of some air pollutants in Vermont have declined significantly. (Lead is a good example; thank unleaded gasoline for that).

But motor vehicles are now the largest source of toxic and cancer-causing air pollutants in Vermont. Each year, motor vehicles in the state emit about 2 million pounds of substances such as benzene,



formaldehyde, and 1,2-Butadiene -- great for motors, bad for people.
And the 5.3 billion pounds (you read it right -- BILLION pounds)
of carbon dioxide Vermont cars emit annually not good.
Carbon dioxide is a "greenhouse gas," warming the earth's atmosphere.
Something besides engines can get hot here.

 

Why do we have this problem?

Cars spew pollution because no one's figured out the ultimate "clean burn."

 

Pedal to the metal!

Even though cars are generally "cleaner" now than before,
a lot of the pollution savings are being wiped out by the extra pollution from everybody driving more.
Look at how many more miles we're driving now compared to 1970.


 

Not all cars are equal -- when it comes to pollution.

Older cars are generally unkinder to our environment than newer cars, but maintenance -- not age -- is the most important factor in keeping a car running its cleanest. A poorly maintained or malfunctioning newer car can actually pollute lots more than a properly maintained older one. Newer cars are high-tech marvels; there's more computer power in a new car than the Apollo spaceships took to the moon. The technology helps keep exhaust emissions to a minimum. But the technology can't do its thing if you don't let it. Maintain your car if you want to do your lungs a favor. Air pollution poses a number of health threats, such as asthma and respiratory illnesses, and can lead to increased mortality. You might not think this is a big problem when you're here in Vermont, but just go to nearly any major city on a hot, cloudy day. You'll see, and breathe, the problem right away.

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