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State of New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection
State of New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection
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What are Air Toxics
NJDEP Air Toxics Program
Federal Air Toxics Program
Overview of USEPA's NATA
2005 Risk Results for NJ
Monitoring Data Comparisons
Sources of Air Toxics
Diesel Emissions
Estimating Risk from Air Toxics
Analysis of the 2002 NATA Results
Analysis of the 1999 NATA Results
Analysis of the 1996 NATA Results
Analysis of the 1990 NATA Results
What You Can Do
Contact Form & Additional Links
Glossary: Acronyms & Definitions

WHAT YOU CAN DO

Since such a large amount of the toxics we're exposed to in air comes from motor vehicles, solvents (such as cleaning fluids), power plants, combustion sources (including residential heating), almost everybody can help reduce the emissions of air toxics.

RECOMMENDED ACTIONS

Drive Clean

  • Purchase gasoline-powered Low Emission Vehicles (LEV) which are designed by the automobile manufacturer to pollute less. Ask your dealership for the models with cleaner emissions ratings such as: Ultra-Low Emission Vehicle (ULEV), Super-Ultra Low Emission Vehicle (SULEV), Partial-Zero Emission Vehicle (PZEV).
    Purchase a Hybrid Electric Vehicle (HEV).
    Purchase a Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) which is currently electric. Electric Vehicles can be "recharged" at home with a special outlet, or at a special "recharging station" which is more suitable for fleet operators.
  • Fleets with centrally fueled vehicles can purchase an Alternative Fueled Vehicle (AFV) which operates primarily on alternative fuels (e.g., natural gas, biodiesel, electricity) which emit far less air toxics.

Drive Less

  • Bike, walk, carpool, or use public transportation as an alternative to driving.
  • If you must use your car, try to plan activities so that several trips can be linked together.
  • Take the route with the least number of miles.
  • Telecommute.

Maintain Your Car Properly

  • Inflate tires properly. Cars with soft tires take up to 5% more energy to operate and they are also a safety hazard.
  • Maintain your vehicle to comply with the air pollution standards. The average well-maintained car emits 33 pounds of pollution (some of which are air toxics) every 100 miles. Cars that are not in compliance with state emission standards can emit approximately five times more than that.
  • Make sure your car's gas cap fits properly to limit the amount of gasoline that evaporates from the tank.
  • Drive calmly, avoid jackrabbit starts and stops that waste fuel and increase pollution.
  • Limit idling your car. Most new cars don't even need to be "warmed-up" in the morning.

Conserve Energy

  • Use compact fluorescent bulbs. They give off light similar to traditional light bulbs. According to USEPA, they use 75% less energy than a standard incandescent and last around 10 times longer.
    Keep your light bulbs clean for maximum output. Dirt absorbs up to 50% of the light emitted by a light bulb.
    When buying appliances, look for the yellow Energy Guide label that indicates energy efficiency. Choosing high-efficiency appliances cuts down on your bills and on utility plant emissions.
  • If replacing windows, use the most energy efficient models.
  • Use Energy-mode on your dishwasher setting and wash only full loads. Avoid peak hours in late afternoon and early evening. Open the dishwasher at the end of the cycle and let dishes air dry.
  • Washing your clothes in cold water will save energy and it helps to make your clothes last longer.
  • Insulate your walls and ceilings This can save up to 25% of home heating costs.
  • Use a programmable thermostat and lower temperature to 55 degrees or lower in winter while sleeping and 65-68 degrees during the day.
  • Replace/clean air filters as recommended.
  • Keep water heater at 115 degrees. If you have an older water heater that does not have internal insulation, wrap heater in insulation.
  • Request an energy audit from your utility company.
  • Plant trees next to your home.
  • Purchase reusable/rechargeable alkaline batteries.
  • Remember, saving energy not only helps clean the air it also saves you money!

Rethink Your Yard Chores

  • Gasoline-powered engines, such as lawn mowers, chain saws, and leaf blowers emit toxic air pollutants. Try hand-powered yard tools for some of your chores.
  • Use natural briquettes for your barbecue and avoid using lighter fluid.
  • Instead of pesticides, use alternative pest control methods ("integrated pest management"), such as biological and mechanical controls. Try substituting a mixture of ground up garlic and onions as a pesticide alternative for vegetable gardens.
  • Reduce pesticide use by reading and following label instructions carefully.

Use Products That Pollute Less

  • Choose water-based latex paints for your home painting. Oil-based paints and varnishes contain solvents that pollute the air.
  • Substitute water-based cleaners for those that are high in volatile organic compounds.
  • Switch from chemical-type household cleaners to natural products like soap and water. A vinegar and water mixture works well as a window cleaner.
  • Buy clothing that doesn't require dry cleaning. For dry cleaning, use garment care services that don't use perchloroethylene.
  • Purchase products made from recycled materials.
  • Purchase products that can be recycled.
  • Purchase products with the least amount of packaging.
  • Buy in bulk, refillables and concentrates.

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Last Updated: April 11, 2011