Ever thought hard about the air you breathe. Ever wondered where it comes from or what happens to the air you breathe out? Well you should.
The name air is commonly used to describe all the atmospheric gases used in breathing. It composes of nitrogen, oxygen, argon, carbon dioxide, and small amounts of other gases. There is also a variable amount of water vapor.
Everything is expected to work well together because there is a balance. But now, due to many man made activities, that balance is greatly being skewed. The same air that gives life can now take it, no thanks to pollution.
Particularly, vehicular pollution which is simply the pollution which is caused due to large number of vehicles emitting toxic gases into the atmosphere.
Fossil fuel combustion, as it occurs in motor vehicles, has been identified as the LARGEST contributor to air pollution in the WORLD.
The large majority of today’s cars and trucks travel by using internal combustion engines that burn gasoline or other fossil fuels.
To Desmond Majekodunmi, a staunch environmentalist, man’s greatest crime to humanity was the creation of the internal combustion. A crime he believes was fuelled by greed and the sheer disregard for human life.
The risk of being exposed to the harmful effects of vehicular pollution like damages to lung tissue and respiratory diseases increases for those who are frequently in heavy traffic, live or work near busy roads.
While most developed countries have put in measures to reduce vehicle emissions, in terms of fuel quality and emission reduction technologies, these measures are yet to be adopted in most developing countries.
In fact, many motor vehicles that would never be allowed on the roads of these developed countries due to their lack of effective emission reductions capabilities, find freedom to roam in many African cities.
That is a deadly problem if not properly addressed.
But as more passenger vehicles hit the roads with more miles being driven, it is a given that pollution will reach an all-time high sooner than later unless strict emissions-reduction and fuel economy policies are in place.
The best solution to the problem would certainly be to adopt the zero-emission vehicles but as we are still dependent on fossil fuels and the number of cars on the road is expected to double, a significant reduction in vehicular pollution requires everyone’s contribution. For one, encouraging the use of bicycles can go a long way.
It is also believed that if a car is well maintained and properly tuned it is likely to emit between 9 to 25 per cent less pollution into the atmosphere than a similar, poorly maintained vehicle.
It is a given that smoky cars contribute far more to air pollution than well maintained cars. If one has ever driven behind or walked near a smoky car, the offence is clear.
Although no visible health problem plagues Segun, as a roadside vulcanizer, he is exposed too often to the pollutant elements from vehicle passing by him. He fears that as he gets older, his long time exposure to the fumes from vehicles might take their toll on him. Sadly, he can’t sue anyone for damages.
The extent of these detrimental effects on people’s health is related to the length of time one is exposed to vehicle emissions, the concentration of fumes breathed and various other factors such as age and health.
Reducing transportation emissions is one of the most vital steps in fighting global warming. Drastic steps need to be taken fast as Nigeria like India has a pollution crisis on its hands.