Air Pollution by Cars: What can we Do?

More about air pollution.

Car Air Pollution

We need to control air pollution by cars and soon. What can we do to help our environment here?  In North America, despite increasing awareness of issues like global warming and the cost of fossil fuels, the average automobile has become less efficient. 

It now uses more gas than it did in the late 1980's, with the increased popularity of large SUV's. Do air pollution and transportation have to go hand in hand?

I hope not. An important substance called carbon monoxide enters the air when engines don't completely burn the fuel they use.

Cars, trucks, and similar vehicles produce as much as 95 percent of the carbon monoxide (CO) in the air around North American cities. Dangerous? You bet.

This poisonous gas irritates people who have respiratory illnesses or heart disease (for instance) because it restricts the amount of oxygen that gets into the blood and then to the organs and tissues of the body.

CO causes symptoms in healthy people when the levels in the air increase even further. Headaches and visual problems can arise to start with, causing a reduction in our stamina and efficiency at work and other activities.

Cars also emit Nitrogen Dioxide and Carbon Dioxide.  Then there's the noise. You know all about that.  It's considered a type of pollution as well.

What Can I do about air pollution by cars?

If you own property or facilities with considerable traffic, you might find it necessary to have air quality dispersion modelling to determine what happens to the emissions.  Where do they go in your area and who do they affect?  Find out how you can get air modeling done for the site.

What can consumers do to enact an air quality solution regarding our cars?  We can all choose to drive less. For those living in cities and towns, a great first step is to begin to walk or bike to nearby destinations.

The environment will thank you, and so will your body, as you notice improved health from the exercise. After all, why should you pay for an expensive gym membership, and then drive there?

Another helpful bit is to choose a smaller, more energy efficient auto the next time you need to buy one, and drive it more conservatively. Obey traffic laws. Keep your vehicle maintained and the tires inflated.

People in the automobile industry could do their part by designing energy efficient vehicles with good emissions control systems in place.

Cities could make a difference by designing more efficient traffic-flow infrastructure. Traffic jams are a major contributor to the problem of air pollution by cars. Our cars just sit and spew while we just...sit and stew.

Air Pollution by Cars

North Americans don't like giving up rights, but air pollution by cars might result in greater problems and then more laws restricting vehicle use.

We could see more regulations, fines and permit requirements just to drive, and it won't be our right anymore. Maybe it never was. Thus, it makes sense to voluntarily begin to reduce our reliance on our vehicles.

Finally, what about inside the car.  Filters clean your air supply if installed properly. Another thing:  watch out for that pleasant but dangerous new car smell.  It's carcenogenic.

Go back from Air Pollution by Cars to the Air Quality Testers webpage.

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Air pollution from traffic is a major cause of damage to the environment.  

One of the major pollutants emitted by cars is carbon monoxide, but wiser use of vehicles could begin to reverse the trend.

Are you concerned about Air Pollution in your area?

Maybe modelling air pollution will get you the answers you need for this problem.

That's what I do full-time.  Try it.

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