A Primer on Motor Vehicle Air Pollution

Report No: 72-R30

Published in 1973

About the report:

This primer presents a brief state-of-the art review of motor vehicle air pollution. Its purpose is to aid highway personnel in understanding the nature of this environmental problem on our highways and to present possible solutions for its abatement. The primer discusses the type of vehicular pollutants (namely, carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons, oxides of nitrogen, oxides of sulfur, and particulates); the differences between gasoline and diesel engine emissions; and the effects of motor vehicle pollutants on health, vegetation, materials, etc. Some measured concentrations of these pollutants in relatively polluted and unpolluted atmospheres are presented, along with the air quality standards set by the Environmental Protection Agency for the purpose of protecting the public from the adverse effects of air pollution. Finally, various possible solutions to motor vehicle air pollution are discussed. Among the presented solutions, environmental consideration during highway location and design and utilization of green belts are most applicable from the Department's viewpoint. However, further research is needed before these long-range solutions can be effectively used for air pollution abatement on highways.

Disclaimer Statement:The contents of this report reflect the views of the author(s), who is responsible for the facts and the accuracy of the data presented herein. The contents do not necessarily reflect the official views or policies of the Virginia Department of Transportation, the Commonwealth Transportation Board, or the Federal Highway Administration. This report does not constitute a standard, specification, or regulation. Any inclusion of manufacturer names, trade names, or trademarks is for identification purposes only and is not to be considered an endorsement.


Other Authors

G. G. Clemeña

Last updated: February 8, 2024

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