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I testified at the EPA New York hearing yesterday on sulfur in diesel fuel as an expert witness on the composition, toxicity and human health effects of diesel exhaust. New diesel engines emit a very toxic and for the most part unknown pollutant. It is very fine particles called ultrafine particles. These particles are invisible, practically weightless, and remain airborne for a week. They cause lung inflammation and respiratory disease. They are expected to cause asthma.

Low sulfur diesel fuel and catalytic afterburners on diesel vehicles will remove the ultrafine particles from the exhaust. The new EPA regulations to limit sulfur in motor fuels to 15 ppm are very important to reducing diesel exhaust pollution and must be supported.

The asthma epidemic in our country and all industrialized countries is driven by air pollution. Fine and ultrafine particles are a major cause of asthma. Other well known air pollutants such as oxides of nitrogen and formaldehyde also are contributors.

Until we as individuals and a nation demand cleaner air the asthma epidemic and deaths will continue.

Craig Stead
Putney, Vermont

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