Thursday, September 13, 2007

Single-Handedly turning our Globe into a Deluxe Baked Good

Diane and Ken have a neighbor remarkably free from the ravages of caring about anybody else but herself. She is raising a fifth grader. Meaning, this perversion has been going on for at least five years:
  • Every school day morning, Mom auto-starts her SUV so it has fifteen minutes to warm up to toasty.
  • She and junior get into the car.
  • They drive down the driveway.
  • They idle by the mailbox until the bus comes.
  • Mom does a K-turn and motors back up to the house.
Let's do the math. An idling car emits 20 times the air pollution of one traveling 30mph. So this lazy ass has produced over 1000 pounds of air pollution so far to commemorate her son's academic career. She has undoubtedly beavered a hole in the ozone layer bigger than the Yankees' payroll.

But here is the demented irony:
  • Children are particularly vulnerable to air pollution because they breathe faster than adults and inhale more air per pound of body weight.

  • Many people believe that they are protected from air pollution if they remain inside their vehicles. Not so according to a report by the International Center for Technology Assessment (CTA). CTA found that exposure to most auto pollutants, including volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and carbon monoxide (CO), is much higher inside vehicles.

  • VOCs and CO are linked to serious health problems:

    • aggravate bronchitis, heart disease, emphysema and asthma;
    • lead to hospital admissions and emergency room visits
    • impair the body's immune system defenses, making people more susceptible to respiratory illnesses, including bronchitis and pneumonia.
    • cause cancer
    • according to the EPA, are proven to "shorten life."
  • And the highest exposure to these toxins occurs when idling-- sitting in traffic congestion on highways or in a line-up of idling vehicles. (Oh yes, and also when you commute to your mailbox).

I only hope the fumes knock her cold before she kills the rest of us, including her own kid.

(Yeah, I'll be celebrating blog action day on October 15.)

Post a Comment