Road map to cleaner fuels and vehicles in Asia

Vehicle emission and fuel quality standards play a critical role in limiting the emissions from each vehicle and, together with other measures, in reducing the impact of continued vehicle growth on Asia’s air quality. In Asia’s cities, the average concentration of PM10 (particulate matter 10 microns or less in diameter) in the air is 90μg/m3, exceeding the World Health Organization air quality guideline of 20μg/m3 by almost 400%. As PM10 in the ambient air increases by 10μg/m3, the risk of early deaths in Asia goes up by 0.5% according to research done by the Health Effects Institute. Motor vehicles are responsible for as much as 75% of ambient PM levels in these cities. Near roadside traffic emissions are also a major concern, and health studies suggest that people living within a range of up to 300 to 500 meters to a highway or major road are most highly affected by traffic emissions. Protecting public health and reducing the economic burden of treatment are compelling reasons to mandate vehicle emissions and fuel quality standards in Asia.