Did you know that more than 10 seconds of idling consumes more fuel than restarting your engine or that modern engines need less than 30 seconds of idling before driving on winter days? Utah Moms For Clean Air taught me that!
Utah Moms for Clean Air is a nonprofit group of, well, moms who are tired of our state's poor air quality and are working to improve it while raising public awareness and working with out state government. (You'll be hearing more from me about this group in the future).
Their website boasts an impressive amount of information from scientific research to current legislation, a plethora of links, including one for the current air conditions, and best of all, MANY ways for individual citizens to make a difference.
Wonder just how serious the situation is? Consider this:
- Medical research in the last ten years indicates air pollution is a more serious public health problem than previously thought.
- Salt Lake, Provo and Logan consistently rank in the top ten U.S. citites for worst acut spikes in air pollution.
- Air pollution causes many serious illnesses, aggravates many others, and shortens the life span of Wasatch Front residents about 2 years.
- Air pollution’s effects are analogous to tobacco’s effects, causing a systemic inflammatory response in the arterial system that affects all organs and accelerates atherosclerosis.
- 4-8% of all deaths are attributable to air pollution (about 1000 premature deaths along the Wasatch Front annually).
- Air pollution limits the growth of lung capacity in children, thus permanently reducing lung function as an adult.
- Air pollution exacerbates existing asthma in adults and children and causes asthma / respiratory infections in those who are not otherwise predisposed.
- Air pollution increases the incidence of SIDS, low birth weight syndrome, premature birth, and infant mortality.
- Air pollution increases the incendence of the most common forms of childhood cancers, especially leukemia.
- Air pollution increases genetic damage in newborns, probably leading to increased morbidities as an adult including heart disease, diabetes and cancers. These genetic aberrancies can be passed on to subsequent generations.
- Mercury, a contaminent of coal combustion, is the chief suspect in the alarming epidemic of neurobehavioral disorders, including autism. Coal power plants are the largest source of enviromental mercury. No power plants in the country are currently using available mercury capture technology.
- Coal power plants are the largest source of nuclear radiation into the environment far exceeding properly functioning nuclear power plants.
- Air pollution is not evenly distributed throught the community. Hot spots persist along traffic corridors and near industrial sites. The interior of school buses may have four times as much diesel exhaust as the atmostphere outside.