You read the headline correctly. According to a report by researchers at California State University, Fullterton, pollution kills more people than car crashes. How do they know? They simply added up the deaths related to pollution that were reported in two of the most polluted areas in California: San Joaquin Valley and South Coast Air Basin and did some comparison. According to the California Highway Patrol, back in 2006 there were 2,521 vehicular deaths in that area. This compares to 3,812 deaths attributed to respiratory illness caused by particle pollution. There are already studies that correlate asthma, chronic bronchitis and other respiratory and coronary problems with ozone and particulate pollution. Ozone usually comes from gasoline car exhausts and particulates from soot, dust and diesel exhausts. The study also shows that reducing pollution to Federal levels would bring California a lot of benefits: fewer premature deaths, fewer heart attacks, almost half a million fewer days of work lost and 1.2 million fewer missed school days. Oh, and two million fewer cases of upper respiratory problems. If you want to think about that in money terms (although I'm no fan of mixing health and money), the bill adds up to $112 million.
[Source: The Examiner]