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The Impact Of Automobile On Air Pollution Environmental Sciences Essay

Info: 2259 words (9 pages) Essay
Published: 1st Jan 2015 in Environmental Sciences

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Air pollution caused by cars is one of the biggest challenges for air pollution that environmentalist are working with now a days. In the 1920s the first car was invented with a combustible engine. Henry Ford was the creator and also later founded Ford Motor Company. The invention of the car was known to be one of the biggest inventions in the 1920’s it made transportation a lot better and also added to the economy to give it the boost it needed. The Ford Motor Company came out with America’s first affordable car, called the Model T. (anglefire)

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To this date there is no exact number of how many cars have been made or sold in the USA from when they had first been invented. A lot of the reasoning behind why there is no perfect number is mainly because not all of them are registered. On the roads today there are around 250 million register vehicles on the roadways. The U.S. Department of Transportation says that 2008 there were 136 million cars, 110 million trucks and close to 1 million buses totaling up to 247 million cars trucks and buses that are on the roads and registered. These statistics do not include cars that are unregistered and sit in junkyards. The U.S. D.O.T states the roughly 16 million new cars are bought yearly. (Wikianswer)

Yes, automobiles do make life a lot easier to transport our self’s and objects but they do have an effect on us. Through many scientific test research has shown that it pays a big toll on the environment. These tests have provided us with answers to show the emissions from a car that are put into the atmosphere can be directly connected to human health issues.

The exhaust on a vehicle is what produces these emissions. Once they leave the exhaust and enter the air they can be breathed in and enter the blood stream and into the body’s major organs. Diesel fueled vehicles seem to be more of a problem to us and the environment but they but they can have major effects on the body. Some of these harmful fumes that are put out into the atmosphere by a vehicle are carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, sulphur dioxide, benzene, formaldehyde, polycyclic hydrocarbons, and lead. Although studies have clearly connected emissions to a wide span of health problems in the United States, the risk to each individual is very difficult to grasp as it varies. There is no doubt in anyone’s mind that the mores you are exposed to these toxic fumes that u will be put into a greater risk. (BBC)

People who already expierance respiratory problems are at a much greater risk then people who don’t suffer from asthma for an example. The biggest and most obvious of where the emissions will take their toll on a human would be there respiratory system. In the UK air pollution cause by vehicles is said to be responsible for 24,000 early deaths every year. Many of these premature deaths have to deal with asthma, bronchitis and many other that can be brought upon someone by vehicle emissions. (BBC)

Fumes from an exhaust on a car put out many toxic chemicals that affect the blood and coronary system. Studies show that about one in every 50 heart attacks are caused or triggered by air pollution. (BBC)

All the chemicals found in exhaust fumes like lead, benzene, and carbon monoxide can all be connected in a harmful way to a person’s blood. When more lead enters the bloodstream it can change around the formation of the red blood cells in your body. It is directly connected to damaging the red blood cells membranes and the metabolism of that cell which may cause it to have a shorter life and can happen to all the red blood cells as well. This can eventually lead to lead anemia. Anemia this when your body has a shortage of cells and this reduces the body’s ability to circulate oxygen through the body. (BBC)

Benzene is a chemical that is also found In the emissions put out through the exhaust can have a major effect on bone marrow also damages the way in which the body can produce more red blood cells and their development. When humans get exposed to this chemical it results in a decreasing number of blood cells known as cytopenia. If a human comes in an excessive amount of contact with this chemical it can result in complete bone marrow loss. Which leads to many other health issues that can also lead to death. Carbon monoxide poisoning is a very big issue that most of us have heard of, and we all even protect ourselves from this deadly, highly poisonous, odorless gas. Yet most of us most likely do not realize that your very own family vehicle helps contribute to the two-thirds of the world’s carbon monoxide gases that enter our world atmosphere. “Carbon monoxide poisoning is very to suffocation. Carbon monoxide binds to the hemoglobin contained in the red blood cells 200 times more effectively then oxygen, and so can dramatically reduce the ability of the cells to transport and release oxygen to the tissues of the body.” (www.bbc.co.uk) This can cause many problems with main organs and within minutes of being surrounded by the fumes you can die. (BBC)

When a human comes in contact with these toxic chemicals it stimulates the body’s immune system to attack its own tissues mainly the cells that line our blood vessels. At one short time period the damage can be small but over time the more exposure that a person get it can build up, this can lead to blocking of the vessels and leads to high blood pressure or even heart disease. (BBC)

Recent studies have shown that the more that a human is exposed to emissions can lead to behavioral changes, also impairs mental function. This can be detrimental to a person’s learning or memory. In our body the immune system is also a very vulnerable place. Benzene and nitrogen dioxide and matter from an exhaust works against the immune system. This leads to either an over active immune system which cannot tell a difference between foreign invaders and it self and as a result it can attack itself.

Emissions from an auto mobile can cause people to form greater risk of getting cancer. If in contact or exposed to the chemical of benzene for good amount of time the long term is known to create leukemia. This brings upon a big problem for people who have weak immune systems.

“Polycyclic hydrocarbons are also thought to be carcinogenic. Several of these compounds have caused tumors in laboratory animals when they ate them, when they were applied to their skin, or when they breathed them in the air for a long period of time. Studies in animals have also shown that the polycyclic hydrocarbons can cause harmful effects on the skin and on body fluids and its thought that they are responsible for lung cancer in gas.”(BBC)

Emissions from a vehicle don’t just have an impact on our health but have one on environmental health such as plants and animals too. Emissions contribute to two very big problems in the world to, acid rain and global warming. Acid rain is rain that has contaminated with sulfur and nitrogen oxides. “Acid rain is formed when pollutions called nitrogen and sulfur oxides contained in plant smoke, factory smoke and exhaust fumes.” (Anglefire)

Acid rain causes many problems and can cause buildings, bridges and statues to fall apart because the high acidic levels make them fall apart quicker than normal ageing. Acid rain cause more problems by raising the pH level in any bodies of water. This can cause harm to any animal that lives off or water or fish in the water. When acid rain builds up and gets to a high acidic level it can really cause harm to soil. This is another bad consequence because the trees life of the soil and it can permanently damage their roots. When their roots are damaged it affects the whole tree, not being able to get enough nutrients to any part of the tree that needs it. This causes wildlife surrounded about the tree to not get what they might not need, it can also cause the tree and other plants not be able to properly complete their photosynthesis. Smog is yet another problem that is caused by acid rain which is harmful to us to breathe in. If the water s acidic enough it can have a reaction to certain types of metals that maybe the water might run through pipes to get to us the people. (Angelfire)

Emissions from vehicles also contribute heavily to global warming because of its high carbon dioxide output on a combustible engine. Carbon dioxide is a thick gas that traps, when it is released to the earth’s atmosphere it acts as a big solar shield and it keeps the heat trapped in. The emissions from a vehicle make up about one third of the world’s carbon dioxide in the earth’s atmosphere. (Withgott 2012)

Ways to control and maybe even in the future do away with engine emissions, there are many out there and some are already being worked into today’s society. Many vehicles that run off of ethanol have been looked into as an alternative to gasoline. But even though ethanol is better than gasoline it still contributes to the emissions that are building up in the world’s atmosphere. There are also new options such as the flex fuel cars and trucks that can use up to 100% ethanol which is a lot better than gasoline but still isn’t where environmentalist would like it to be. Ever since these flex fuel cars have been produced, the production keeps going up. However People do not realize that “flex fuel” is limited in supply. (Nutramed)

Another alternative are electric cars. These cars are out on the road being tested and improved every day. On these cars there are many limitations one of them is that batteries to run a car can wear out very quickly due to the amount of recharges that are needed and the materials for the batteries are expensive and are also running low. Also with electric cars if you are charging them with some outlet that is connected to the main factory, and that factory builds their electricity by using fossil fuel then there are little to no benefits because the factories generate a lot of the pollution as well. (Nutramed)

There is also another alternative to gasoline powered vehicles this one is most likely the best one yet. Hydrogen fueled cars are the best when it comes to emissions because they are promised to put out close to zero emissions. The only thing that is put out by this vehicle is water vapor. The fossil fueled vehicles today emit all types of harmful chemicals. Hybrid vehicles take a shot at it but they still do not take away all the emissions, the only one out there that will promise to keep the air clean and emit zero pollution would be the hydrogen fueled automobile. These types of cars will be available in the future but will be very expensive and will only have few designated fill stations. People will most likely not start seeing these cars regularly till the distant future. (Nutramed)

Cities and towns could help the cause by improving their public transportation to hybrids to start and advise their people about what their cars are actually doing. If people had to go a short distance and would ride their bikes or even walk it would already start to help out the environment. (Nutramed)

The clean air act was passed by congress in 1970 and amended in 1977 and 1990; this act had required the environmental protection agency to set national air quality standards to help the protection against pollutions in the ozone like carbon monoxide. Some states have even made standards that when the car goes for inspection that it is checked to see if it emitting the least amount of pollutants as possible. (EPA)

Air pollution is one of the most challenging topics that environmentalist are dealing with mainly from car emission. Due to all the changes that they are working towards and are working hard on all the standards generations after us may never be driving fossil fueled cars in their lifetime. Public transportation will be as big as it used to and see many more people using this type of transportation. As the future comes at us the technology is only getting better and who know what it holds in store for us. At some point the technology will be our answer to environmental problems with vehicles with zero emissions.


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2011 http://www.anglefire.com

5 Answers.com-how many cars are currently in the US. Wikianswers-

The Q&A wiki. Web. 24.mar.2011


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Solutions for Medical Problems.web.24 mar.


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