Pollution from Car Emissions

Pollution from car emissions impacts air quality, damages structures like buildings and bridges, and reduces water quality. You can do your part to reduce car pollution by walking, biking and carpooling. Even reducing your car trips by combining trips will make a difference. Driving less and driving less polluting cars will make a difference on the pollution from car emissions.

Although the amount of car pollution per car has decreased significantly since the 1970’s, the number of cars driven has increased, so there is still a significant problem with the pollution from car emissions. This could be decreased simply by making some changes in our lives and our driving habits, but most people are unaware about or not willing to make changes. What can you do to make a difference in the amount of pollution from car emissions?

The EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) says that driving a car is the single most polluting activity we, as people, do. That is a very sobering and scary fact, because most of us spend quite a bit of time in our cars driving from here to there. By making some simple changes, we could help to make a difference in the amount of pollution that is released by our automobile.

The first thing you should consider is driving less. The easiest way to do this is by cutting down your shopping trips to one time per week, rather than spreading them out over the entire week. By more carefully plan your trips you will save fuel and time, and not pollute the air as much.

Maintaining your car properly is also another way you can help decrease the amount of pollution from car emissions. Getting the oil changed and having your car tuned up when your car manufacturer suggests has many purposes. One is to help it run more efficiently and use the gas in a much more efficient way. Another good benefit of keeping your car properly serviced is that it can help reduce the amount of emissions that are released from you car, which results in pollution.

Walking and carpooling helps the environment and reduces your driving. If you and your friend live near each other and work at the same place, then why not carpool? It will give you someone to talk to and hang out with on the ride to and from work and it can reduce the pollution.

There are three main types of pollutants cars emit; hydrocarbons, nitrogen oxides, and carbon monoxide. They each contribute to air pollution in different ways.

  • Hydrocarbons undergo a chemical reaction with nitrogen oxide and sunlight to create ground-level ozone. They can cause shortness of breath, coughing, and other lung problems.
  • Nitrogen oxides contribute to both ground-level ozone and acid rain. They are also a factor in water pollution.
  • Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless gas that can cause many health symptoms, including death. In cities, cars release as much as 90% of the carbon monoxide that is in the air.

Pollution from car emissions can greatly be decreased if everyone would do their part. This is what makes it so difficult. People are sometimes unwilling to make a change in their life. Lack of knowledge is sometimes the issue, too, which is why it is so important that we get the information out there, so that everyone can work together to make the environment cleaner and healthier for future generations.

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