AUTO EMISSIONS AND PUBLIC HEALTH: QUESTIONS, STATISTICAL PROBLEMS, AND CASE STUDIES

This report discusses the problem of determining "safe concentrations" of air pollutants in 3 stages beginning with a general overview composed of 12 key questions and their answers, progressing to a brief discussion of 6 unresolved statistical problems and ending with a review of short case studies on oxides of nitrogen and on problems engendered by oxidation catalysts. It is concluded that scientific uncertainty makes the task of public health protection and automotive emissions control extremely difficult and contributes to public acrimony. Unrestrained advocacy also hampers efforts to reveal existing information, reduce uncertainty and avoid emerging problems. But despite these difficulties, progress is being made in that air quality is beginning to improve. It is pointed out that while shifting from the present "no-effect" threshold risk philosophy to a cost-benefit risk philosophy would only intensify the impact of technical uncertainties, the most rational approach would be to unite and intensify governmental and private efforts to reduce bothersome scientific uncertainty to more acceptable levels.

  • Corporate Authors:

    Washington Academy of Sciences

    9650 Rockville Pike
    Washington, DC  United States  20014
  • Authors:
    • Finklea, J T
  • Publication Date: 1974-6

Media Info

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Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00263542
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Dec 19 1974 12:00AM