The Shocking Truth about Diesel Emissions

The automaker Volkswagen intentionally violated emissions standards, according to new information released by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The EPA has ordered VW to fix almost 500,000 cars after discovering that the automaker intentionally mislead regulators by using software that evades EPA standards. The company also faces the potential for $18 Billion in fines, although the exact amount has not yet been announced. Additionally, the U.S. Justice Department has launched a criminal probe into the rigged emissions tests and several law firms have announced plans for class action lawsuits against the Volkswagen Group of America, Inc. While investigations and lawsuits against the company are underway, the company could still be given up to a year to formulate a plan to correct the substandard vehicles.

In the meantime, the company has been selling vehicles that exceeded the EPA standards by up to 40 times the maximum allowable emissions for nitrogen oxide. Nitrogen oxide emissions have been linked to asthma and other respiratory diseases.

According to the Union of Concerned Scientists, a group of scientists and engineers who conduct independent research and attempt to solve the problems facing the planet including air pollution, diesel emissions account for two-thirds of particulate matter in the air. Particulate from diesel contains hundreds of chemical elements, including: sulfate, ammonium, carcinogens and heavy metals like cadmium and arsenic. There are different sizes of particulate matter, including: coarse particulate (less than 10 microns in diameter), fine particulate (less than 2.5 microns) to ultrafine particulate (0.1 microns). Another issue with diesel exhaust is that it is made up of 80 to 95% of ultrafine particulate, which is small enough to penetrate the cells of the lungs. Everyone is susceptible to diesel soot pollution, but especially children, those with pre-existing respiratory conditions, and the elderly. It is estimated that tens of thousands of people die prematurely as a result of particulate pollution.

Diesel exhaust has been classified as a potential human carcinogen by the EPA and the World Health Organizationís International Agency for Research on Cancer. Humans routinely exposed to diesel exhaust have a higher risk of lung cancer. Those in the transportation industry involved with railroads or trucking have a 20 to 50 percent increased risk of lung cancer than those who are not involved in these industries.

Air pollution exposure has been linked to an increased rate of brain aging, according to research in the Annals of Neurology. Earlier research in the Annals of Neurology cited a link between air pollution and the risk of stroke. Air pollution has also been linked to an increased rate of cognitive decline, as well as an increased incidence of heart disease, obesity, dementia and Alzeimerís disease, and Parkinsonís disease.

According to a study in the journal Environmental Health and Technology,†2 million deaths globally could be averted simply by cleaning up the air.

While the Volkswagen debacle may seem like a corporate breach of trust, when the facts about air pollution are taken into consideration, the companyís violation extends much further, to the very essence of the air we breathe.

To learn more about environmental links to brain diseases like dementia, Alzheimerís, and Parkinsonís disease, check out my upcoming book Boost Your Brian Power in 60 Seconds: The 4-Week Plan for a Sharper Mind, Better Memory, and a Healthier Brain.


Naomi D
Naomi Dreyer11 months ago

This wasover two years ago! What has happened since?

Lorraine Andersen
Lorraine Andersen11 months ago

thanks for sharing

Danuta W
Danuta Watola11 months ago

Thanks for sharing.

Sue H
Sue H11 months ago

I'm wondering why it's still for sale??

Peggy B
Peggy B11 months ago


Chrissie R
Chrissie R11 months ago

Thanks for posting.

Ruth S
Ruth S11 months ago


Siyus Copetallus
Siyus Copetallus3 years ago

Thank you for sharing.

Kathryn Irby
Past Member 3 years ago

Very surprising indeed! Thanks for sharing!

KS Goh
KS Goh3 years ago

Thanks for the article.