News about the health and beauty of the natural world that sustains us.
Pollution kills more people in Southern California’s San Joaquin Valley and South Coast Air Basin then motor vehicles according to a recent article in Time magazine. In 2006, the California Highway Patrol recorded 2,521 deaths related to motor vehicles in the two areas, while there were 3,812 respiratory-related deaths linked to pollution.
Researchers at California State University-Fullerton released a study showing that if the state met federal ozone standards, Californians in these two areas could save $28 billion annually in health care costs, missed work and lost income potential from unexpected deaths. That’s $1,600 per person in San Joaquin Valley and $1,250 in the South Coast Air Basin each year. And if the regulations were adopted within the month, the savings in health care costs could be $68 billion by 2020.
The study was released just in time too as the California Air Resources Board considers reducing the amount of diesel truck emissions. The problem is a regulation like this could cost 170,000 business owners $5.5 billion. Last time I checked, though, businesses need living employees and customers to run smoothly. They will have to start cutting back on emissions eventually — so why not do it now while those whose lives are at stake are still around to participate?