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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(9), 891; doi:10.3390/ijerph13090891

Public Health Impact and Economic Costs of Volkswagen’s Lack of Compliance with the United States’ Emission Standards

1
Department of Preventive Medicine and the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center, Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University, Chicago, IL 60611, USA
2
Department of Epidemiology, Human Genetics and Environmental Sciences, University of Texas School of Public Health, Houston, TX 77030, USA
3
Department of Environmental Health, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, MA 02115, USA
4
Department of Environmental Health Sciences, Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, New York, NY 10032, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Kim Natasha Dirks
Received: 15 May 2016 / Revised: 19 August 2016 / Accepted: 23 August 2016 / Published: 8 September 2016
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [253 KB, uploaded 12 September 2016]

Abstract

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently issued a notice of violation against Volkswagen (VW) for installing a defective device in certain models of diesel cars to circumvent emission tests for nitrogen oxides (NOx). We quantified the health and economic impacts of extra NOx emissions attributable to non-compliant vehicles in the U.S. using the EPA’s Co-Benefits Risk Assessment model. We estimated that the total extra NOx emitted over one year of operation would result in 5 to 50 premature deaths, 687 to 17,526 work days with restricted activity, and economic costs of $43,479,189 to $423,268,502, based on various assumptions regarding emission scenarios and risks. This study highlights the potential impacts of VW vehicles’ lack of compliance on the health and well-being of the U.S. population. View Full-Text
Keywords: nitrogen oxides; risk assessment; vehicle emissions nitrogen oxides; risk assessment; vehicle emissions
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Hou, L.; Zhang, K.; Luthin, M.A.; Baccarelli, A.A. Public Health Impact and Economic Costs of Volkswagen’s Lack of Compliance with the United States’ Emission Standards. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13, 891.

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