Hold your breath; Air pollution and the industries, part two
The following day recorded programs distributed through the facilities of the National Association of educational broadcasters. Just hold your breath. Hold your breath and long as you can go through and discover how vital this natural resource is. Yes air is the most precious substance we have when it's only in it's healthy and useful. One of the polluted costs and to kill air pollution is a threat to our way of life and you should know more about it in these radio programs produced by Michigan State University under a grant from United States Public Health Service. Every aspect of the national problem from health effect to economic considerations will be discussed. Air pollution will be viewed by legislators. Scientists and public representatives of a theory of why I challenge
you to draw some logical and responsible conclusions. Today we continue to examine the relationship between air and industry. Recently a great deal of concern over the automobile as a considerable source of air pollution has been aroused in both public health officials and the automobile industry. Much research has been done on the nature and extent of pollution caused by automobile emission. Agreement on either the exact problem nor its solution has been reached. However progress has been made in automobile exhaust control. The doctor used his talks with Mr. John Caplan chairman of the vehicle combustion products Committee of the Automobile Manufacturers Association. Cap'n sometimes I've been driving along on the highway and I've come up behind a large truck with rather a hole in offensive and a colorful plume being given off. Is this a serious or an important part of the concern of the automobile industry as a whole to get rid of
things like this. Well it certainly is and this course in many cases in fact in most cases falls in the realm of this local nuisance rather than an air pollution problem particularly this is true of diesel vehicles. Although to the individual in the immediate vicinity this is objective objectionable as a general air pollution source. It's very negligible in fact the state of California has exempted diesel engines from the crankcase emission control requirement because they're both there so few of them and they put out so little. Well what about the relative importance of the automobile in comparison to all construction and domestic activities and municipal activities and industry activities in Los Angeles region for instance. It's been estimated by the thought is there that 80 percent of one particular air pollutant hydrocarbons in this case comes model Beals moving up the
coast to San Francisco the automobiles represent only 30 percent of the air pollutants so that I'm afraid I can't generalize as to whether domestic activities vs. transportation vs. industry is the most important sources source it depends on where you're talking about. Well let's talk about Los Angeles. Can you tell us a little bit about the problem at least as you see it and what the automobile industry is doing to help overcome the problem. Right actually our early concern with the automobile as a source of air pollution and actually arose in connection with the Los Angeles's situation and it's been for near 10 years that we've been concerned as an industry with this Los Angeles problem. I think that there are three or four things that are unique about Los Angeles. The first of these is of course that they have done a really spectacular job of cleaning up many of the sources of air pollution that exist in other
communities. That is with respect to industry with respect to household burning and the like so that under these circumstances the automobile remains one of the few uncontrolled sources. The second thing is of course the. Topography. They win and the fact that they're on the western slope of the continent gives them this peculiar combination of conditions that result in what we call a photochemical smog which is still in another subdivision of air pollution. Now there are. Two or three aspects of this problem that concerns us as I will be all manufactures. First is that this photo chemical smog is related to the hydrocarbons and the oxides of nitrogen that are in the atmosphere. That undergo reactions in the presence of sunlight to form various products and it's these products that cause the difficulties the well known.
I smarting and visibility reduction. Now what makes Los Angeles unique is that they have. The world's best combination of these unusual circumstances this means that other things being equal the severity and intensity of their problem will probably be greater than elsewhere in the United States. Well as you no doubt are where we have been working on techniques every do sing a mission particularly of hydrocarbons from our vehicles for a good many years and we're very happy to report that for the last two model years we have included on all. United States made passenger cars that have been sold in California. A device which is called a blow by device. This is been included as standard equipment and this will reduce the emission of hydrocarbons in the order of 40 percent. This same device
now has been incorporated starting this year on the nine thousand sixty three models throughout the entire United States. We're particularly pleased with this device because it does an extremely good job in terms of pounds of hydrocarbon per dollar expense. In addition to this of course we have had programs concerned with. Exhaust gas hydrocarbon reductions this represents say the other 50 to 60 percent of the hydrocarbons. There are a number of exhaust devices that have been developed. Other words it's not a scientific problem. We have a number of these. The problem is getting a device that is. Reasonably priced and has a reasonably good life expectancy. And this of course is where the difficulty comes in determining what is a community willing to pay for clean air. This comes down to the individual citizen's pocketbook for the automobile industry and
control devices on cars as Mr. Kaplan pointed out are largely a matter of what the public is willing to pay. The cost is passed along to the consumer. An inexpensive device that controlled a small amount of emission would and has been readily accepted. But there is no indication to date that the private citizen would be willing to pay higher prices for his new car for the sake of expensive control devices which would protect his health more effectively. Can we get back to this blow by a device again. Is it possible to explain a little bit as to how this works and what if any problems the average car owner may encounter because of its use right. First in principle when we talk about a blow by device in essence. Under normal operating conditions some of the combustion gases and some of the raw fuel air mixture that is brought into a soner the engine escapes by the piston rings. And goes into the crankcase. Now in the past
we have used on vehicles what we call a road graph too and this acted as an aspirator to suck them out of the crankcase and into the atmosphere. This is necessary because these same gases contain acids and the like and gums which will cause rapid deterioration of your crankcase oil and formation of sludge in violation gums in your engine. But the blow by control which is more properly known is positive crankcase ventilation rather than exhaust these to the atmosphere. They are piped through a control system back into the combustion chamber and have the opportunity to undergo combustion again. Is there much maintenance connected with a device such as this. Like all mechanical devices maintenance is an important part and depending on the device and the usage. We have recommendations concerning periodic maintenance cleaning and inspection of these devices.
Generally they are tied in with the oil change interval. Now if the device. It is not operating properly depending on the type of device used. The actual driver may notice some irregularities in the idle performance of his vehicle and this is a signal that he might want to have his device checked to be sure that it's operating properly. In the opinion of the automobile manufacturers at least it is as you understand it. Is this blow by device going to be sufficient again in the Los Angeles area to take care of the problems that the authorities seem to believe are created by the automobile. Well again now in the Los Angeles area you realize that these are only being placed on new vehicles. They have a tremendous backlog of some 3 million used vehicles to date. The authorities out there have not elected to require the installation of this
type of device on these used vehicles so that at best only slight inroads can be made. Until a 12 hour period goes by in which all the backlog is replaced. But nevertheless there is available to them. This approach which will do a great deal to control the contaminant levels now in Los Angeles this may not be enough in itself and they may find it necessary to require control of exhaust emissions and in the industry of course besides the devices for controlling exhaust gas emission which you hear a lot about in the papers and over the radio. There has been and continues to be a concerted vigorous program within the industry to improve our engines. Themselves so that rather than put a device on to reduce an emission we would minimize the amount of emission that initially occurs.
That was John D Kaplan chairman of the vehicle combustion products Committee of the Automobile Manufacturers Association. The United States Public Health Service has been working for some time on the problem of auto exhaust because they feel it's a significant cause of air pollution in our communities. Mr. Andrew ates Rose chief of the engineering research and development section in the laboratory of engineering and physical sciences of the US Public Health Service told us some rather startling figures about autos and air. Can you give us some indication as to the relative importance of the air pollution caused by the automobile. If you live in Los Angeles or throughout. The country we look at the effect of the automobile from a national standpoint there are certain rather significant figures which I think indicate the contribution of the automobile from a national standpoint to air pollution in operating an average vehicle over the average mileage of about
9500 miles per year which are driven each vehicle yours and mine consume about three quarters of a million cubic feet of air and here this area's discharge from the engine of the tailpipe and the draft too in a contaminated state. On a daily basis. This air contains about four hundred ten tons of carbon monoxide. Sixteen Tons of oxides of nitrogen and some fifty six tons of hydrogen. This is on a daily basis throughout the entire country. This is on a daily basis throughout the entire country. The auto exhaust control devices developed and installed in new cars mentioned by Mr. Kaplan a few moments ago drew some comment from Mr. Rose. The development of exhaust control devices is at present. We're going to have a research. However. If you recall from the newspapers at the instigation of the Public Health Service
the automobile manufacturers have agreed in the past. In part we have agreed to install on all 1963 production model brought by control devices. These devices will. It is estimated reduce the hydrocarbon emissions from all 63 and later vehicles by some 25 to 35 percent. Again we believe this is a significant step in the right direction towards national control or national removal of hydrocarbon or pollutants from the air. Again this was done on a cooperative basis between industry and national agencies. Well in your opinion is this going to solve the problem as far as your pollution of robot wheels are concerned. We're not there he was just I think one must recognize that each area has its topographical and weather conditions which are unique to itself. To make the broad sweeping statement that any
particular device will control or reduce to a minimum the effect of automobiles is impossible. In certain areas conceivably Yes. The installation of the blow by device would suffice at least for the present. In other areas such as Los Angeles and certain of the East Coast areas. This I don't believe is true that it's going to take considerably more effort and a considerably higher reduction in the contaminants from the automobile in order to effectively reduce air pollution. We have heard comments on these exhaust control devices by the automobile industry and public health engineers. Does this infer that successful use of these devices will cure the problem of pollution from autos. Dr. Hughes just asked Mr. Rose Mr. Rose what your opinion of the effectiveness of the present work being done on the application of control devices to automobile exhaust. In other words it is this the ultimate answer of what do you think the other one answer might be.
My own feeling in this regard is that the application of either direct flame or catalytic afterburners for the control of hydrocarbons from the exhausts of Motor Vehicles is not the ultimate It is a stopgap type major. I feel very strongly that the ultimate answer here in this particular source of emission must lie in either the development or modification of the present engine types in the development or modification of the present fuel types being used or any combination of both. The application or the combustion of the exhaust gases after it leaves the engine. Economically is not too sound. Where this power for a few will be could this fuel be then rather converted
into useful power. It would obviously economically be more feasible. Well then where does this tie in to the legislation that is passed in California. Is this a stopgap measure. The legislation enacted in California is by no means a stopgap measure. Burn mined this area the whole west coast of California. Is confronted with a serious problem which in part at least into a large part is attributable to the automobile. They cannot wait for all the solutions they must get immediate solutions. I think for these reasons that the approach that has been taken before has been toward a more of a stopgap approach that is the combustion of these hydrocarbons. After they leave the engineer rather than in the development of engine modifications or
fuel modifications which will ultimately solve the problem. The ultimate solution then seems a long way off doesn't it. Problems in the control of pollution from auto exhaust does seem to be making progress however largely through contributions by public health researchers. The auto makers and control officers the oil industry in this country has its difficulties with air pollution too. But here the problem seems even more difficult to resolve. This is probably due largely to a lack of agreement on the nature and extent of the pollution caused. Dr. Hughes just talks with Mr Elsey Burroughs executive secretary of the Air and Water Conservation Committee of the American Petroleum Institute. Can you tell us a little bit about the the different types of pollution that the industry is concerned with preventing. I believe that the extent of air pollution from refineries has been greatly exaggerated due
to the smog studies in the city of Los Angeles. Refineries in the main. Put out the same pollutants into the atmosphere that result from combustion of the fuel by any other industry in addition to these we have problems with odor and we do emit into the atmosphere from refineries hydrocarbons which in some quarters are considered to be air pollutants hydrocarbons as they are emitted from refineries are in quite small amounts because hydrocarbons are worth money to the refinery. The emissions are. Colorless odorless and in the amounts emitted nontoxic. And since they are largely saturated
hydrocarbons do not significantly contribute to go to chemical smog which occurs in some communities. Aren't these the types of things however that some folks have thought were associated with the production of cancer. No I don't believe this is true. The hydrocarbons that some people think are associated with cancer are the poly cyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. The emissions of these hydrocarbons from refineries has not been determined accurately due to problems with analytical methods. However there is still a very great question as to whether or not we should be using the term poly cyclic aromatic hydrocarbons synonymous with the term carcinogens. This is a point that has
not been proven as yet because a price hike leak aromatic hydrocarbon bans a pirate which has been recognized as capable of causing skin cancers has not been shown to cause lung tumors even at concentrations in the breed that was fair of a hundred times that found in the ambient air of large cities. There is another point on poly cyclic aromatic hydrocarbons that I think should be mentioned and that is that there are many hydrocarbons in that would fall under this general category. Many of these have not been proven to cause cancer even when applied to the skin. Mr Burrows is the is the petroleum industry in your
opinion making any effort to to minimize the effects of air pollution. Very definitely so. Certainly our industry has examined all its sources of air pollution and I believe I'm correct in saying that every refinery has taken a large number of steps to correct emissions. Can you tell us a little bit about how they go about meeting air pollution control requirements. I believe that Los Angeles is the only city in the United States that has a regulation or a set of regulations which applies specifically to oil refineries. They in other locations refineries are required to meet the same regulations that other industries are required to meet in this regard. The refineries have taken the steps
necessary to correct their problem or to investigate to obtain information which will lead to correction. Mr Barrett was in Los Angeles is that they have taken steps to regulate the oil refineries that they've passed a rule 62 that concerns the burning of the heavier residual oils. Can you tell us a little bit about what this rule is and why it was implemented and what the industry thinks about it or Rule 62 or the Los Angeles Air Pollution Control District prohibits the burning in the Los Angeles air pollution district liquid or solid fuel of over 1 1/2 percent sulfur content. For seven months. I have each year between May the 1st and November the 30th. It was claimed when this ruling was put into effect that it was necessary to
protect the health of Los Angeles people and to reduce their smog condition. What is it history think about this. Well oil industry representatives on the west coast vigorously oppose Rule 62 because there was no evidence that health is affected at the sulfur dioxide level of point 0 0 4 2.0 5 parts per million in the Los Angeles ambient air nor that smog would be noticeably reduced by this discriminatory ruling. I have seen no information that health in Los Angeles is affected during the five months of the year when the rule is not in effect nor in other cities where sulfur dioxide concentrations in the air not infrequently are twice as high as those in Los Angeles. That was Elsie Berle's executive secretary of the Air and Water Conservation Committee of the American Petroleum Institute.
The controversy over Rule 62 has not yet been resolved to get the other side of the story we called on Robert Al Chasse director of engineering for the Los Angeles County Air Pollution Control District with the Jazz could you could you explain the meaning of rule 60 to it concerning at least as I understand it the the burning of the heavier residual oils in Los Angeles and can you tell us why it was necessary to have such a rule. I'm like the eastern city is our main fuel used to be a fuel oil. Now the large power plants used to burn a great deal of fuel oil compared to the amount of natural gas that they consumed. If you don't use coal as a fuel in your area to any significant there is hardly a lump of coal in Los Angeles County. I see. Now Rule 62 prohibits the burning of fuel oil containing more than a half percent by weight of sulfur between
April the 15th and November the 15th each year. Now in effect what it does is requires the substitution of natural gas for fuel oil during those periods of the year when atmospheric conditions are most conducive to photochemical smog formation. Why did you have to adopt such a role. The amount of oxides of nitrogen the amount of particulate matter and the amount of sulfur dioxide that were emitted to the atmosphere from the burning of fuel oil became a real genuine problem. For example the burning a few hundred by a power plant. Results in emissions of over 17000 pounds of Earth contaminants profile wasn't Burroughs burned. The burning of natural gas by contrast results in emissions of approximately twenty four hundred pounds American tenements are only one seventh of the quantity produced by the burning of fuel
oil. I see a lot industry have in some instances taught that Rule 62 was unusually harsh because as they have claimed that there isn't any demonstrated relationship between the cell for the oxide in the atmosphere and air pollution are off oddly you care to comment on our smog would you care to comment on that. Yes we have the Air Pollution Control District feel that the oil industry has opposed the provisions of Rule 62 for one reason only and that is because they would oppose any legislation which would have the effect of curtailing the sale of their product. The lesson is natural. We do not believe that they have produced any evidence to contradict in the sesame for Rule 62. Nor have they demonstrated that there does not in fact exist a relationship between emissions from the burning of fuel oil and our pollution problem. There is a great deal of evidence mounted to show that the
contribution to our air pollution problem from the burning of fuel oil is great and one of the major remaining problems as far as. Making Rule 62 effect of the year round. I am saying. I am. Think the problems in the control of pollution in the automobile and the oil industry. Next Part 3 of air and industry takes a look at the coal and chemical industries of this country. Hold your breath was produced by Patrick Ford at Michigan State University under a grant from the division of air pollution Bureau of state services United States Public Health Service. Our interviewer was Dr. Albert E. used as commissioner of health for the state of Michigan. The programs are distributed through the facilities of the National Association of educational broadcasters.
- Hold your breath
- Producing Organization
- Michigan State University
- WKAR (Radio/television station : East Lansing, Mich.)
- Contributing Organization
- University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
- AAPB ID
Interviewee: Kaplan, John
Interviewee: Rose, Andrew H.
Interviewee: Burroughs, L.C.
Interviewee: Chass, Robert L.
Interviewer: Heustis, Albert E.
Producer: Ford, Patrick
Producing Organization: Michigan State University
Producing Organization: WKAR (Radio/television station : East Lansing, Mich.)
- AAPB Contributor Holdings
University of Maryland
Identifier: 63-36-8 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
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- Chicago: “Hold your breath; Air pollution and the industries, part two,” 1963-10-29, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed October 26, 2021, http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-500-k06x1t58.
- MLA: “Hold your breath; Air pollution and the industries, part two.” 1963-10-29. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. October 26, 2021. <http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-500-k06x1t58>.
- APA: Hold your breath; Air pollution and the industries, part two. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-500-k06x1t58