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VEHICLE POLLUTION

Introduction

In urban areas – both developing and developed countries, it is predominately


mobile or vehicular pollution that contributes to air quality problem. All motor
vehicles release pollutants into the air, mostly through the exhaust fumes that
come out of the tailpipe when the engine operates. Tailpipe emissions are products
of burning fuel in the vehicle's engine, emitted from the vehicle's exhaust system.
The worst thing about vehicular pollution is that it cannot be avoided as the
vehicular emissions are emitted at the near-ground level where we breathe.

CAUSES OF VEHICULAR POLLUTION


• High vehicle density in Indian urban centers.
• Older vehicles predominant in vehicle vintage.
• Inadequate inspection and maintenance facilities.
• Predominance of two stroke two wheelers.
• Adulteration of fuel and fuel products.
• Improper traffic management system and road conditions.
• High levels of pollution at traffic intersections.
• Absence of effective mass rapid transport system & intra-city railway networks.
• High population exodus to the urban centers.

GENERATED POLLUTANTS

the major pollutants emitted include:


o Hydrocarbons: this class is made up of unburned or partially burned fuel, and is
a major contributor to urban smog, as well as being toxic. They can cause liver
damage and even cancer.
o Nitrogen oxides (NOx): These are generated when nitrogen in the air reacts
with oxygen under the high temperature and pressure conditions inside the engine.
NOx emissions contribute to both smog and acid rain.
o Carbon monoxide (CO): a product of incomplete combustion, carbon monoxide
reduces the blood's ability to carry oxygen and is dangerous to people with heart
disease.
o Carbon dioxide (CO2): Emissions of carbon dioxide are an increasing concern as
its role in global warming as a greenhouse gas has become more apparent.
o Particulates. Particle of micrometre size.
o Sulphur oxide (SOx) General term for oxides of sulphur, mostly sulfur dioxide
and some sulfur trioxide, from coal or unrefined oil.
|POLLUTANT |SOURCE |HEALTH EFFECT
|
|Nitrogen dioxide (NO2) |One of the nitrogen oxides emitted in vehicle |
May exacerbate asthma and possibly increase |
| |exhaust. |susceptibility to
infections. |
|Sulphur dioxide (SO3) |Mostly produced by burning coal. Some SO2 is |
May provoke wheezing and exacerbate asthma. |
| |emitted by diesel vehicles. |It is also
associated with chronic |
| | |bronchitis.
|
|Particulates PM10, Total |Includes a wide range of solid and liquid |
Associated with a wide range of respiratory |
|Suspended Particulates, Black |particles in air. Those less than lO (m in |
symptoms. Long-term exposure is associated |
|Smoke |diameter (PM10) penetrate the lung fairly |with an
increased risk of death from heart |
| |efficiently and are most hazardous to health. |and lung
disease. Particulates can carry |
| |Diesel vehicles produce proportionally more |
carcinogenic materials into the lungs. |
| |particulates than petrol vehicles. |
|
|Acid aerosols |Airborne acid formed from common pollutants |May
exacerbate asthma and increase |
| |including |susceptibility to
respiratory infection. May |
| |sulphur and nitrogen oxides |reduce lung
function in those with asthma |
|Carbon monoxide (CO) |Comes mainly from petrol car exhaust. |
Lethal at high doses. At low doses can impair|
| | |concentration and
neurobehavioral function. |
| | |Increases the likelihood of
exercise related |
| | |heart pain in people with
coronary heart |
| | |disease. May present a risk
to the foetus. |
|Ozone (O3) |Secondary pollutant produced from nitrogen |
Irritates the eyes and air passages. |
| |oxides and volatile organic compounds in the |Increases
the sensitivity of the airways to |
| |air |allergic triggers in people
with asthma. May |
| | |increase susceptibility to
infection. |
|Lead |Compound present in leaded petrol to help the |Impairs
the normal intellectual development |
| |engine run smoothly. |and learning ability
of children. |
|Volatile organic compounds |A group of chemicals emitted from the |
Benzene has given most cause for concern in |
|(VOCs) |evaporation of solvents and distribution of |this group
of chemicals. It is a |
| |petrol fuel. Also present in vehicle exhaust. |cancer-
causing agent that can cause leukaemia|
| | |at higher doses than are
present in the |
| | |normal environment.
|
|Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons |Produced by incomplete combustion of fuel.
|Includes a complex range of chemicals, some |
|(PAHs) |PAHs become attached to particulates. |of which
are carcinogens. It is likely that |
| | |exposure to PAHs in traffic
exhaust poses a |
| | |low cancer risk to the
general population. |
|Asbestos |May be present in brake pads and Clutch |
Asbestos can cause lung cancer and |
| |linings, especially in heavy-duty vehicles. |
mesothelioma, cancer of the lung lining. The |
| |Asbestos fibres and dust are released into the|
consequences of the low levels of exposure |
| |atmosphere when vehicles brake. |from braking
vehicles are not known. |

Pollution from vehicles gets revealed through symptoms like cough, headache,
nausea, irritation of eyes, various bronchial problems and visibility problems.
• More than 99.4 per cent of all pollutant gases are invisible
• A car releases emissions even when it's standing still
• Other fumes from petrol and lubricants evaporate into the air.

Precautions to be taken to reduce vehicle pollution


❖ Unless we dramatically reduce the amount of pollution vehicles emit in actual
use, or drastically cut back on the amount we drive, smog-free air will continue to
elude many cities.
❖ Control of hydrocarbon and nitrogen oxide emissions is the most promising
strategy for reducing ozone levels in most urban areas.
❖ The only way to ensure healthy air is to markedly reduce our use of cars or to
switch to fuels that are inherently cleaner than conventional gasoline.
❖ Our cars, while necessary, are very harmful to the environment. Auto
emissions account for about 60% of air pollution (espcially ozone smog) in cities.
Reformulated gasoline and Inspection and maintenance programs such as PUC have
been introduced in many areas to reduce emissions. These programs, however, are
only short term solutions to the problem.
❖ If the car is leaking fluids, these can contaminate the water and soil. Routine
maintenance of automobile creates other hazardous wastes, such as used motor oil,
used antifreeze, tires, and other waste. It is important that we dispose of these
wastes in accordance with state and municipal environmental regulations.

To reduce the impact of driving a car on our environment


✓ Walk, ride a bicycle, use public transportation, or carpool whenever possible.
Driving less is, not susrpisingly, the best way to reduce automobile pollution.
✓ If we need to buy a car, we have to consider purchasing the most fuel-efficient
model in its size/category.
✓ While changing lubricant make sure that we use the recommended brand and
more important the grade of oil e.g. 40SW 10. Never use the wrong grade of oil.
✓ Maintain our car in good, efficient working condition to decrease air and water
pollution. More than 80% of auto emissions come from less than 30% of the cars.
✓ Change our oil only when necessary. Independent tests by Consumer Reports
magazine indicate that changing modern motor oils every 7,500 miles (synthetics at
12,000 miles) or at the automakers suggested intervals, is more than adequate
under most driving conditions. Also consider using 100% Synthetic motor oils to
extend drain intervals on your vehicle.
✓ Recycle used motor oil. Each year over 140 million gallons of used motor oil
end up in our landfills. When we take our oil to a recycling location, we need to be
sure to use a proper reusable container with a tight fitting cap.
✓ New cars are cleaner than ever, but we have more of them every year. Vehicle
maintenance is essential for low emissions. A singe recent model year car that is
badly out of tune can produce as much of certain smog causing pollutants as
several hundred brand new cars! So please support emission inspection programs in
your state.
✓ Establishing public transportation reduces pollution, and energy consumption,
and that ultimately means less pollution, more energy and lower prices for
everyone. Public Transportation Also Conserves resources. Less cars mean less
pollution, less streets and parking lots.
✓ Check tyre pressure regularly because low tyre pressure causes drag which
increases fuel consumption.
✓ If the vehicle has been parked unused for a long time, have the engine tuned
and engine oil replaced.
✓ Inspect spark plug clearance, clean and adjust gap. Replace plugs, if
necessary.
✓ Do not use leaded or low leaded fuel in vehicle fitted with Catalytic Convertor.
Always use unleaded fuel.