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Improved Public Health

Replacing fossil fuels with ethanol not only reduces greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, but also improves air quality and reduces the health impacts of pollution. That’s because using ethanol in the transportation sector decreases ozone formation (when replacing gasoline) and particulate emissions (when replacing diesel).

Research by the Air Pollution Laboratory at São Paulo University’s Faculty of Medicine (for more read the “Ethanol and Health” study) confirmed ethanol’s health benefits by studying the vehicle fleet of São Paulo, South America’s largest and most densely populated city. The researchers found that replacing gasoline and diesel with ethanol in that one city would:

  • Save 1,400 lives per year
  • Prevent more than 9,000 hospital admissions per year
  • Save the government more than US$190 million annually

Since air pollution is a recognized problem that affects other densely-populated regions, the results of this study can be extrapolated to other metropolitan areas with similar characteristics.

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On April 22, we celebrate International Mother Earth Day. Many people want to take action on that occasion by planting a tree or informing themselves on climate change solutions and environmental conservation. However, in today’s era of post-truth politics and information overload, we often struggle to make sound judgements about what is best for the environment and what is agenda-driven rhetoric. Same goes for lawmakers who are in charge of setting the policies that will lead us to a more environmentally friendly economy and lifestyle.

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