A new study released this week by the National Biodiesel Board (NBB) shows switching to biodiesel results in significant health benefits such as decreased cancer risk, fewer premature deaths and reduced asthma attacks.
The study, conducted by Trinity Consultants, was sponsored by NBB with support from the Nebraska Soybean Board, South Dakota Soybean Research & Promotion Council, California Advanced Biofuels Alliance, Iowa Soybean Board and the Wisconsin Soybean Marketing Board. It used well established EPA air dispersion modeling tools coupled with health risk assessments and benefit valuations to assess the public health benefits and resulting economic savings of converting from petroleum-based diesel to 100% biodiesel, known as B100, in 13 sites and communities in the U.S. exposed to high rates of petroleum diesel pollution.
Researchers found that switching to 100% biodiesel for home heating oil and transportation would annually bring the 13 communities studied:
340 fewer premature deaths.
46,000 fewer lost workdays.
$3 billion in avoided health care costs.
In the transportation sector, benefits included a potential 45% reduction in cancer risk when heavy-duty trucks such as semis use B100 and 203,000 fewer or lessened asthma attacks.
When Bioheat® fuel made from 100% biodiesel is used in place of petroleum heating oil, the study found an 86% reduced cancer risk and 17,000 fewer lung problems.
National Biodiesel Board CEO Donnell Rehagen, NBB Director of State Governmental Affairs Floyd Vergara, and Matt Herman, Director of Environmental Science, presented the findings during a virtual press conference Thursday.NBB presents biodiesel health benefit study findings (26:05)
NBB biodiesel study Q and A (20:26)