Vehicular Pollution effect does not exist only in India but this is a serious problem across the world. Nearly half of the population in America is highly affected by the air quality standards. America in terms of vehicular transportation usage is much more than in comparison to India. Passenger vehicles and heavy-duty trucks are a major source of this pollution and along with its ozone depletion, particulate matter, and other smog-forming emissions are adding on the pollution effect to a larger extent.
The health risks of air pollution are extremely dangerous. Poor air quality increases respiratory problems like asthma and bronchitis, increases the risk of life-threatening diseases like cancer, and then one suffers from mental problems due to high medical costs.
Passenger vehicles are the major source of pollution producing a high concentration of nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide, and other pollution. Transportation including diesel and non-diesel vehicles are polluting the air to a greater extent. Automobiles have become a ‘necessary evil’. They have made living easy, comfortable and convenient but side by side made human life more complicated and in danger to both toxic emissions and an increased risk of accidents.
The urban regions are flooded with vehicles and so they are most affected by vehicular pollution and are the worst sufferers are traffic policemen, who are chiefly close to the fumes of automobile exhaust for the whole day. Studies conducted in Jaipur, India, revealed that there was a high rate of incidents of respiratory, digestive, ocular and skin problems amongst the traffic policemen and considerably a large number of them became victims of lung disorders in the very first few months of their posting to a traffic department. Therefore, it is an advice to the traffic policemen to wear ‘pollution masks’ for their own safety and also to increase public awareness for the risk of automobile pollution.
With the support of the AQI (Air quality index) the government agencies observe the data around the world to measure the polluted air in their cities.
For example, observe the vehicle which had just passed by you, the air in front of one seems to be clear, but could feel the smell for a long time. This is because when the initial white smoke comes out of a car exhaust and dissipates, harmful chemicals remain in the air for a long time but appear invisible to the naked human eye.
Air Quality Index (AQI)
The AQI is used to monitor the air quality across the world by government agencies which help us to know the condition of air pollution which could alarm us for the effects of vehicle pollution on humans.
The index uses five criteria for measurement
- Particulate Matter (PM10 & PM2.5)
- Sulfur Dioxide (SO2)
- Carbon Monoxide (CO)
- Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2)
- Ozone (OZ)
Effects of vehicle Pollution on humans
According to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the Car exhaust fumes are responsible for more deaths than traffic accidents in the UK and US. Only 3 of the top 10 most iconic cities in the world are considered safe according to the AQI.
In India Delhi has the worst air quality, which is 10 times worse than London
Istanbul’s air quality is considered dangerous during busy periods throughout the day; people are mainly affected by heart and respiratory problems.
Bnei Brak in Israel has the lowest air quality index on Earth.
India and China, countries are the highly populated countries and are also with the world’s dirtiest air, which vehicular gas is stacking up for the poor AQI and their fight against air pollution.
Chemicals Released by Car Exhaust
There are many chemicals released by combustion engines which are harmful to humans–
Benzene (C6H6) – This substance is produced from exhausts of vehicles as an unburnt fuel during the combustion process. It is found in small amounts of diesel and petrol vehicle naturally. Benzene is highly toxic and on long-term exposure has been linked to leukemia.
Carbon Dioxide (CO2) – Reducing the amount of CO2 in our environment is one of the main goals for governments around the world. The reason is that, although, the substance is non-toxic, it is a dangerous greenhouse gas and contributes to acidification of the oceans.
Carbon Monoxide (CO) – Carbon Monoxide is odorless and colorless and is caused by an incomplete combustion process. However, it can be extremely harmful. It has been known to cause irritations such as headaches and respiratory problems.
Hydrocarbons (HC) – Emitted as unburnt fuel, hydrocarbons also evaporate from the vehicles fuel tank. Hydrocarbons react with NOx to create photochemical oxidants in the presence of sunlight which can cause breathing issues and make symptoms, such as asthma worse.
Nitrogen Oxide (NOx) – Produced in any kind of combustion produce, NOx is oxidised in the atmosphere and is one of the major contributing factors to acid rain. It has been known to cause lung irritation and reduce the immune system when fighting respiratory infections. Tie in something about how this has resulted in the decline on diesels?
Particulate Matter (PM) – Soot is often a byproduct of using a motor vehicle powered by fossil fuels. Tiny particles, smaller than one-tenth the diameter of a human hair, can seriously impact the health of a human being as they penetrate deep into the lungs. Diesel is the major causes of PM pollution.
Sulphur Dioxide (SO2) – By burning fuel that contains sulphur, especially the likes of diesel and coal, combustion engines cause contamination when the sulphur reacts in the atmosphere to form fine particles and other pollutants. This can cause a major health risk, particularly to children.
How Dangerous are Vehicle Exhaust Fumes?
The risk of exposure to vehicle exhaust fumes is rarely talked about in the media when compared to other preventable causes of death, like the consumption of alcohol or tobacco, the statistics have revealed that the number of deaths is similar in both cases.
A study conducted in Massachusetts Institute of Technology concluded that effects of vehicle pollution on humans in UK approximately 5,000. People die every year as a result of heart attacks and lung cancer. Which are three times as many who die from traffic accidents? Pollution from overall UK combustion emissions including power plants and other forms of industry results in 13,000 deaths per year.
Almost, a similar status in the US, was found, where the results depicted 53,000 deaths per year caused by emissions from vehicles, which are around 16,000 more than traffic accidents. Overall in the US, 200,000 deaths are caused by overall air pollution. Among the 100 major urban centers assessed for transport sector-related deaths globally, New Delhi ranks sixth.
Preventive measures by the Overcome Effects of vehicle Pollution on Humans
Overcome Effects of vehicle Pollution on Humans by Restoration of Green Areas
Many cities have begun to restore environmentally friendly features in the form of “green streets” to combat air pollution and also, in many French cities, laws are made to ensure all new buildings feature a green roof or solar panels.
Overcome Effects of vehicle Pollution on Humans by Supporting Smarter Public Transport
It helps a lot if our city has a large number of electric buses and electric cars, but there are other novel ways also to make public transport more efficient and greener like In Spain’s capital, Madrid, a new technology to harness energy from metro trains is now in focus, the energy regenerated by this process will be used to charge electric vehicles.
Overcome Effects of vehicle Pollution on Humans by Promoting Green Initiatives
There are plans offered by governments around the world to home and commercial property owners for a considerable reduction in taxes and other subsidies in exchange for reducing their carbon footprint. This, in turn, will reduce the cities overall emission rating and will definitely improve air quality. Many countries including the UK and US, are offering tax incentives relief and grants for electric cars, which is helping in both ways for consumers to save money and also improve the environment.
Overcome Effects of vehicle Pollution on Humans by Acceptance of Renewable Energy Sources
It’s important for a city accepts and makes use of all forms of renewable energy if they want to reduce pollution and improve air quality. Many cities have started installing solar panels on the outside of their buildings, including Los Angeles, New York and Denver. Recently Aspen has become the third US city to achieve the goal of operating on 100% renewable energy after Burlington, Vermont and Greensburg, Kansas.
Overcome Effects of vehicle Pollution on Humans by Proper Servicing of Vehicles
Proper servicing of vehicles is done to keep the vehicle clean and proper and clean fueling provides us with an affordable and available means of reducing transportation-related air pollution and climate change emissions. Switching to fuel-efficient vehicles that use less oil; cleaner fuels which produce fewer emissions; and electric cars and trucks which can entirely remove tailpipe emissions.
“An Alarming Emergency Around The Globe, We All Have To Join Hands To Fight With It By Planting More And More Trees And Also Getting The Vehicles Properly Serviced And Also By Switching Towards The Electric Vehicles”
Overcome Effects of vehicle Pollution on Humans