Public health impact and economic costs of Volkswagen’s lack of compliance with the United States’ emission standards

Lifang Hou, Kai Zhang*, Moira A. Luthin, Andrea A. Baccarelli

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations

Abstract

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently issued a notice of violation against Volkswagen (VW) for installing a defective device in certain models of diesel cars to circumvent emission tests for nitrogen oxides (NOx). We quantified the health and economic impacts of extra NOxemissions attributable to non-compliant vehicles in the U.S. using the EPA’s Co-Benefits Risk Assessment model. We estimated that the total extra NOxemitted over one year of operation would result in 5 to 50 premature deaths, 687 to 17,526 work days with restricted activity, and economic costs of $43,479,189 to $423,268,502, based on various assumptions regarding emission scenarios and risks. This study highlights the potential impacts of VW vehicles’ lack of compliance on the health and well-being of the U.S. population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number891
JournalInternational journal of environmental research and public health
Volume13
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 8 2016

Keywords

  • Nitrogen oxides
  • Risk assessment
  • Vehicle emissions

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

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