Reducing Risk from Emissions

How can we reduce the risk of health problems caused by exposure to vehicle emissions? Not driving is the obvious suggestion, but that isn't always practical. Instead, you can carpool, use mass transit, bicycle or walk whenever possible. The fewer vehicles on the highway, the fewer pollutants emitted in the air.

Another way to reduce vehicle pollution is by practicing good vehicle maintenance. Your vehicle owner's manual has a suggested maintenance schedule. Vehicles pollute the least amount when they are new. Over time, the emission control systems degrade and pollution increases. Keeping your vehicle well-maintained with regular tune-ups will prolong the efficiency of your engine and its emission control systems. Keeping filters and catalytic converters clean will decrease fuel consumption and help assure that the pollution control devices are in good working order.

Don't overfill or top off your vehicle's gas tank. Gasoline that spills, as well as fumes that escape, react with nitrogen oxides and sunlight and create smog.

Stop your vehicle's engine if it is idling at a drive-up window or in traffic jams and limit warm-up time in the winter. Contrary to popular belief, turning off and starting an engine uses less gasoline than letting it idle for 30 seconds.

Keeping tires properly inflated and wheels aligned not only improve fuel economy but help reduce air pollution.

Most importantly, do not remove or tamper with pollution controls.