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Vehicle Emissions

Vehicles emit a lot of pollutants. Because the United States has more drivers than any other country, we are guilty of putting a lot of emissions like carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, volatile organic compounds, particulate matters, sulfur dioxide, and lead into the air.

Transportation's share of emissions generating in the United States
1998 statistics

carbon monoxide (CO)
78.6%
nitrogen oxide (NOx)
53.4%
volatile organic compounds (VOC)
43.5%
particulate matter 10 micrometers or less in size (PM-10)
2.1%
particulate matter 2.5 micrometers or less in size (PM-2.5)
7.2%
sulfur dioxide
7.2%
lead*
13.1%

* In 1970, transportation's share of lead emissions was 82.3%.

Source
Davis, Stacy. Center for Transportation Analysis, Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Transportation Energy Data Book: Edition 20 – 2000. Chapter 4 Criteria Pollutants, 4-1.