To the Editor:
Now that gas is approaching $3.50 a gallon, maybe high prices might end a practice that is all too common leaving the engine running while shopping or getting the mail.
Recently, one SUV was left running for 35 minutes while its owner used the local YMCA. Modern fuel-injected engines (most vehicles) need only ten seconds to warm up. After that, you waste more money running the engine than restarting it. Unnecessary idling also wastes fuel, causes pollution, and gets zero miles per gallon and idling an engine also causes twice the wear on internal parts compared to driving at regular speeds.
Idling is also bad for your health and your neighbor’s. Car exhaust contains nitrogen oxides, volatile organic compounds particulate matter, carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide. All of this is spewed into the environment, and none of it is good to breathe.
Carbon monoxide is especially harmful because it slows the delivery of oxygen to the body’s organs and tissues. Exposure to carbon monoxide aggravates heart disease and can cause headaches and visual impairment.
Children are especially sensitive to the effects of air pollution because they take in more air than adults. If you’re concerned about the escalating price of gas; if you want to protect your health and that of others; and if you care about the quality of the air we all breathe, please turn off your motor.
It’s a simple act of good citizenship that everyone can do.
Don Loprieno, Bristol