Air PollutionThe air, water, noise, water, thermal and other forms of environmental pollution have an adverse impact on the quality of lives. The pollution is majorly as a result of activities carried out by human such as the industrial production of chemicals. In the modern days, motor vehicles are primary sources of pollution. The increased number of cars on the road lead to a rise in environmental pollution. Although they cause noise pollution, the main form of pollution caused by the motor vehicles is air pollution. Motor vehicles are very essential in transportation, and they contribute significantly to the economic development of a nation. By using the vehicles, it is possible to transport goods such as raw materials from the sources to the industries for further processing. The finished goods are transported to the market using the vehicles. In addition, the workforce in the industries uses vehicles to go to work and get home after work. Therefore, vehicles are very crucial in the development of a nation and promotion of human welfare in the society. However, the impact of the pollution they cause can lead to climate change that may adversely affect human life. It also exposes human beings to various diseases such as throat inflammation, chest pains and heart diseases that weaken the workforce making productivity poor. This has the potential to reduce economic growth and development. The transport sector is a primary contributor to the pollution. In 2013, it was found to have contributed to more than a half of overall nitrogen oxides and carbon monoxides into the atmosphere and a quarter of all hydro carbonates emitted into the air (Samet et al, 60). The air pollution from vehicles can either be secondary or primary. Primary pollutants are released directly into the atmosphere, but secondary pollutants react with the atmosphere after they are released. The particulate that are mainly emitted by diesel exhausts are composed of small elements of soot and metals are the major causes of lung disease and smog. The hydrocarbons produced are very harmful especially after reacting with sunlight to form smog that irritates the respiratory system causing choking and coughing. Nitrogen oxides produced by the vehicles also lead to air pollution and have adverse impacts on human health because they reduce the ability of the body to fight infections.
The combustion of gasoline leads to emission of carbon monoxide into the atmosphere. The gas causes damage to vital organs such as the brain and the heart especially in newborns and people with chronic illnesses. The cars that use fuels containing sulfur contribute greatly to the sulfur dioxide in the atmosphere. This is a great health risk especially to the asthmatic individuals. In the United States, about more than a fifth of all global warming pollution is caused by trucks and cars. The greenhouse gases emitted by vehicles lead to climate change. Carbon dioxide for instance traps heat from the sun thus causing global warming. The aerosols released by the cars and trucks have a cooling effect on the environment, a fact that leads to climate change. There are different ways that can be used to reduce air pollution by cars and trucks. One of the methods is by use of electric vehicles that conserve the environment by using an alternative source of energy. This decreases the amount of pollutants released into the atmosphere and in turn reduces the adverse impacts of the emissions. Formulation and implementation of regulations concerned with the amount of sulfur in the fuels are also an appropriate way of putting pollution under control (Muller and Robert 12). The other way of reducing adverse impacts of the fuels is by converting the harmful fuel to safer components such as biodiesels and bioethanol. Although the process of transforming the fuels into cleaner fuels produces harmful compounds such as carbon dioxide, their impact on the environment is not as much as the unclean fuels.
There should also be legislations aimed at regulating the quality of fuel that is used in vehicles so as to ensure that the carbon and other pollutants that are emitted are within controlled measures. There should also be campaigns to reduce the number of vehicles on the roads by encouraging people to use other means such as bicycles for short distances. This will reduce the number of vehicles on the roads and consequently reduce pollution. In order to sensitize the community on the need to reduce pollution trough environmental conservation, there is a need to ensure that they get adequate information on the impacts of pollution on the environment. The information can be passed through billboards, and advertising in the print, social and electronic media. According to Muller and Robert , as much as vehicles are important in building the economy and promoting the welfare of individuals, the long-term effects of the pollution they cause must be considered. The reduction in number of vehicles on the road, use of legislations that regulate the quality of fuel are some of the measures that can be used to control the air pollution.
Muller, Nicholas Z., and Robert Mendelsohn. "Measuring the damages of air pollution in the United States." Journal of Environmental Economics and Management 54.1 (2007): 1-14.
Samet, Jonathan M., et al. "The national morbidity, mortality, and air pollution study." Part II: morbidity and mortality from air pollution in the United States Res Rep Health Eff Inst 94.pt 2 (2013): 5-79.