Before you rev your engines, keep in mind the negative effects of car emissions.
Cars have become one of the most common possessions on the face of the planet. With the constant growth in the international economy, cars are becoming more affordable and easier for the average person to own. People need transportation in order to go back and forth to work, to take their children to school, and to carry out everyday activities.
The reality, however, is that this sudden influx in cars on the road has a major side effect. According to the United States Department of Transportation, in 1970, there were 89.9 billion vehicle miles traveled. In 2011, this number almost tripled to 246.3 trillion vehicle miles traveled (www.ucsusa.org). With these high numbers, the negative effects of car emissions is clear.
While vehicle ownership is beneficial and even necessary to those dependent on cars for their primary transportation, recent research done by the Environmental Protection Agency in the United States concluded that emissions from these vehicles are responsible for more than half of air pollution in the U.S. In addition to air pollution, cars carry hazardous fluids and these harmful fluids can drain into and, thus, negatively effecting the local water system. (Image source)
While a car is running, it is emitting chemicals in the form of gas. Some of these chemicals are harmless, but others are not. The amount and type of pollution depends upon what type of gas goes into the car. In the US, all grades of gasoline are unleaded, and the consumer can choose which grade to put into their car. This varies from country to country, as in some places, not all the gasoline is only unleaded.
Gasoline that contains lead is extremely harmful to the environment and to people. When breathed in, leaded gasoline fumes can slow brain development in small children and potentially cause cancer in adults(USEPA). It is important to make sure that the gasoline that is being put in your car does not contain lead, because if it does, it can be very hazardous to you and the surrounding environment. The lead gas being put into many vehicles is just one of the many negative effects of car emissions.
There are certain chemicals, however, that are emitted from all gas-powered vehicles, regardless of the type of gasoline the owner fuels it with. These chemicals are carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxide, sulfur oxide, and smaller solid particles such as metal and soot (www.sfgates.com).
These materials are less harmful to humans than lead, but just as harmful to the surrounding environment. Many of these pollutants settle into the soil and find their way into the food supply. Animals that consume these foods can suffer from respiratory, immune, and neurological complications. (image source)
Car pollution is responsible for much more than sickening the wildlife. Nitrogen oxide and sulfur emissions from car pollution have been directly linked to the causation of acid rain. Acid rain is caused when these chemicals are leaked or emitted from car exhaust fumes, then absorbed by the water supply or soil. Once the chemicals are in the water, they evaporate into the clouds and from there, fall to the earth as acid rain. One of the negative effects of car emissions that circulates through the water cycle will continuously harm our environment until changes are made to reduce emissions.
The drastic rise in car ownership has affected the environment in many negative ways, but oddly enough, the emissions released from cars do not have a huge impact on the ozone layer. This is a common misconception and, although car pollution is horrible for humans and wildlife, it does not destroy the ozone.
The automobile is one of man’s greatest inventions, in part because of the freedom that it gives us on the road. It also allows us to prosper economically due to the ease of delivery methods of goods and services. Because of vehicles, we have the advantage of moving across our country faster than ever before.
However, we must not forget that cars have their disadvantages, such as exhaust fumes and fluid leaks that are potentially harmful to our environment and wildlife. Our responsibility as consumers is to become more conscious of the damage that our car is doing to the environment and the negative effects of car emissions on both humans and animals.
Something we can do to lessen the impact of harmful by-products of car pollution is to promote production of “greener” vehicles. (image source)
When we begin to choose a hybrid or electric car over the standard, the transportation market will be forced to shift their focus to production of hybrid and electric cars. In recent years, the vehicle market has undergone innovation and is moving towards a greener future. In order to make the roads greener and make a reduction in the negative effects of car emissions seen globally, we must follow this example and become more aware of the harm we are causing to the environment.
Now, every one of us has a role to improve society and we need to take action. The first action we take is always to suggest to go green to reduce the negative effects of car emissions. According to Environmental America the amount of pollution emitted in to the environment by fossil fueled generation plants is three times more than all the nation’s cars. [quote_box_center]U.S. power plants released 2.56 billion tons of carbon dioxide, equivalent to the amount produced by 449 million of today’s cars – that’s more than three times the number of passenger cars registered in the United States[/quote_box_center]. For that reason, if you have not yet switched to green, DO it now. Take Action and Click the link to GO GREEN NOW!