Evidence Of Health Problems With Ethanol Fuels

Thanks to Dev Niyogi for alerting me to an important news report on the risk of ethanol vehicles on health. This article follows up on the Climate Science weblog

Will Climate Effects Trump Health Effects In Air Quality Regulations?

The article in Energy Daily is titled

“Ethanol Vehicles Pose A Significant Risk To Human Health”

The text reads in part,

“Ethanol is widely touted as an eco-friendly, clean-burning fuel. But if every vehicle in the United States ran on fuel made primarily from ethanol instead of pure gasoline, the number of respiratory-related deaths and hospitalizations would likely increase, according to a new study by Stanford University atmospheric scientist Mark Z. Jacobson. His findings are published in the April 18 online edition of the journal Environmental Science and Technology (ES and T).

‘Ethanol is being promoted as a clean and renewable fuel that will reduce global warming and air pollution,” said Jacobson, associate professor of civil and environmental engineering. “But our results show that a high blend of ethanol poses an equal or greater risk to public health than gasoline, which already causes significant health damage.’…..

The deleterious health effects of E85 will be the same, whether the ethanol is made from corn, switchgrass or other plant products, Jacobson noted. “Today, there is a lot of investment in ethanol,” he said. “But we found that using E85 will cause at least as much health damage as gasoline, which already causes about 10,000 U.S. premature deaths annually from ozone and particulate matter. The question is, if we’re not getting any health benefits, then why continue to promote ethanol and other biofuels?

“There are alternatives, such as battery-electric, plug-in-hybrid and hydrogen-fuel cell vehicles, whose energy can be derived from wind or solar power,” he added. ‘These vehicles produce virtually no toxic emissions or greenhouse gases and cause very little disruption to the land-unlike ethanol made from corn or switchgrass, which will require millions of acres of farmland to mass-produce. It would seem prudent, therefore, to address climate, health and energy with technologies that have known benefits.'”

The entire news release, and paper from which it is based is worht reading.

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Filed under Climate Science Misconceptions, Climate Science Reporting

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