Besides keeping cars in good working condition, vehicle emissions inspection programs in 14 U.S. cities significantly reduced air toxins that can cause cancer and respiratory problems, according to a report by the American Lung Association (ALA).
Inspection/maintenance (I/M) programs are conducted to measure a motor vehicle's emission control system in order to maintain it in proper working condition.
The report said the inspection programs were originally used by cities to reduce smog and carbon monoxide, but other toxins also were cut. Those toxins, emitted by vehicles and trucks, can cause upper respiratory damage, asthma, cancer and irritated allergies. The ALA's study specifically looked at benzene-a known human carcinogen-formaldehyde, acetaldehyde and 1,3 butadiene.
The study analyzed I/M programs in Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Houston, Milwaukee, New York, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Seattle/Everett, St. Louis and Washington. Each had a population of more than 1 million people, high congestion and established vehicle inspection programs.
Bob Redding, the Washington, D.C., representative for the Automotive Service Association, said the organization was ``grateful for the continued support of the American Lung Association for I/M programs.''
Inspection/maintenance ``equals clean air and better health for the American public,'' Mr. Redding said. ``Our efforts should be to expand I/M programs to larger geographic areas.''