Study Links Diesel NOx Emissions to More than 107,000 Deaths in 2015, Excess Emissions Responsible for over One-Third

May 15, 2017A study published in Nature concludes not only that nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions from diesel cars, trucks and buses were linked to 107,600 premature deaths around the world in 2015 but also that more than one-third of those deaths, about 38,000 (1,100 of which were in the U.S.), were due to excess NOx emissions – those that occur during normal, real-world vehicle operation in amounts exceeding regulatory limits. The study is based on an examination of 11 major vehicle markets – Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, the European Union, India, Japan, Mexico, Russia, South Korea and the U.S. – that, together, accounted for over 80 percent of new diesel vehicle sales in 2015 and nearly 60 percent, about 13.1 million metric tons, of worldwide diesel NOx emissions. Of those 13.1 million metric tons of NOx emissions, about 4.6 million were excess emissions. The researchers concluded that unless more effective action is taken to control diesel NOx emissions the number of related premature deaths will rise from 107,600 in 2015 to 183,600 in 2040. They also determined that more stringent diesel tailpipe emission standards along with effective compliance and enforcement programs could prevent 174,000 premature deaths a year by 2040. Research for Impacts and Mitigation of Excess Diesel NOx Emissions in 11 Major Vehicle Markets was led by the International Council on Clean Transportation and Environmental Health Analytics in collaboration with the University of Colorado, Stockholm Environment Institute and International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis.