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Vehicle exhaust catalysts in Great Britain: an environmental and economic analysis

Hutchison, E. J. and Pearson, Peter J. G. 2005. Vehicle exhaust catalysts in Great Britain: an environmental and economic analysis. Applied Earth Science (Transactions Institute of Mining & Metallurgy B) 114 (3) , pp. 173-181. 10.1179/037174505X45522

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This paper presents a summary of research conducted on the short-term health benefits arising from the introduction of vehicle exhaust catalysts (VECs) to petrol-fuelled cars in the UK. We carried out an evaluation of the environmental and health benefits from a reduction in emissions through this mandated technology against its costs, for urban areas of Great Britain. We made an ex post assessment – based on available data to 1998 – and an ex ante assessment – projected to 2005, when full penetration of VECs into the car fleet is anticipated. The results indicate substantial health benefits from VECs that are likely to exceed their costs significantly: by 1998, when no more than half the car fleet had catalysts installed, the net societal health benefits were around £500 million, while by 2005, the benefits could reach £2 billion. We also found through environmental surveys, that although lead concentrations in road dusts have fallen by 50% in urban areas, platinum accumulations near roads have risen up to 90-fold higher than natural background levels. This suggests that although as yet there is no evidence of adverse health effects from platinum, further monitoring may be warranted.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Architecture
Subjects: N Fine Arts > NA Architecture
T Technology > TD Environmental technology. Sanitary engineering
T Technology > TL Motor vehicles. Aeronautics. Astronautics
Publisher: Maney Publishing
ISSN: 0371-7453
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2017 04:30

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