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Emissions Trap Cuts Harmful Diesel Pollution
Date:4/11/2011

les in the diesel exhaust and 99.8 percent of the smallest and most damaging particles. The trap tested by the researchers was made by Johnson Matthey, Inc.; however, the researchers received no funding from the company.

In addition, when compared with filtered air, direct diesel exhaust reduced the ability of blood vessels to dilate in the six to eight hours after exposure. Moreover, men breathing filtered air had a greater release of a compound in the body that dissolves blood clots than did men breathing unfiltered diesel exhaust.

This compound, called tissue plasminogen activator, is one way the body helps prevent heart attacks and strokes, the researchers noted.

Another test for blood clotting showed that breathing unfiltered diesel exhaust increased clotting, compared with both filtered air and trap-filtered diesel exhaust. In fact, there was no difference in clotting ability between those who inhaled filtered diesel exhaust and filtered air, the researchers found.

Martin Lassen, director of business development at Johnson Matthey, Inc., which makes the diesel particle trap, said the particle trap for trucks would cost an additional $5,000 to $7,000 per vehicle. For cars, the cost would be under $2,000.

"In addition, the filter has no effect on fuel economy," Lassen added.

Dr. Robert D. Brook, an associate professor of medicine in the cardiovascular medicine division at the University of Michigan and co-author of an accompanying journal editorial, said that "these findings strongly support the concept that reducing the particulate pollution associated with diesel, and likely other combustion sources of air pollution, can lead to substantial improvements in cardiovascular health."

In addition, the results also support the 2007 regulations for diesel particle traps in U.S. vehicles and also the retro-fitting of the existing fleet to protect the public health, Brook said. Starting with the 2007 model year, pollution f
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