Wed, Feb 16, 2011 - Page 2 News List

EPA warns against excess car emissions in garages

By Shelley Shan  /  Staff Reporter

Facing cold weather, some drivers let their car engine run for a few minutes before driving away, a practice that is harmful to air quality, a recent study by the Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) showed.

Using a device called a Proton Transfer Reaction Mass (PTR-MS) to monitor air quality in an underground parking lot between the peak hours of 8am and 8:20am and 5pm and 5:20pm, the EPA said comparisons of benzene and acrolein densities in the air between peak and off-peak hours showed the average density of the two pollutants was 3.9 times and 3.8 times higher in the afternoon peak hours than off-peak hours.

The study also showed the average density of both -substances was 1.6 times and 2.5 times higher in the morning peak hours than during off-peak.

“We think the results may have something to do with the fact that many drivers do not leave immediately after they start their car engine,” said Wu Yueh-chuen (巫月春), a section chief at the EPA’s Environmental Analysis Laboratory. “The underground parking lot may not be equipped with a ventilation system either, which could explain the surge in density.”

Benzene is produced when there is an effusion of diesel or gasoline. Acrolein, for its part, is a volatile organic compound produced when there is incomplete combustion.

Long-term exposure to benzene can lead to leukemia, while acrolein can damage lungs and increase the risk of cancer.

This story has been viewed 1434 times.

Comments will be moderated. Remarks containing abusive and obscene language, personal attacks of any kind or promotion will be removed and the user banned.

TOP top