DefinitionMean of modeled annual average diesel particulate matter concentration for census tracts in a county using 2017 NATA data
NumeratorModeled mean diesel particulate matter concentration in micrograms per cubic meter
Why Is This Important?Diesel engines emit a complex mixture of air pollutants, including both particles and gases. Diesel particulate matter includes soot, metallic abrasion particles, sulfates, and silicates.
Because of their small size, inhaled particles may penetrate deep into the lungs. Exposures have been linked to symptoms such as headache, dizziness, nausea, coughing, difficulty in breathing, and irritation of the eyes , nose and throat. Prolonged exposures can lead to heart disease, lung disease, and lung cancer. It has been estimated that hundreds of New Jersey residents die or suffer respiratory illnesses every year from harmful diesel particulate matter.
How Are We Doing?All New Jersey counties exceed the health benchmark of 0.0033 micrograms of diesel particulate matter per cubic meter of air. The highest ambient air concentration can be found in Hudson County.
What Is Being Done?The NJDEP's Diesel Risk Reduction Program is reducing the amount of particulate matter emitted by diesel vehicles. Key strategies of the program include: a mandatory diesel retrofit program; idling restrictions; a heavy duty diesel vehicle inspection program; and efforts to reduce emissions at New Jersey's ports.