Air Pollution - Essay 5

Topics: Air pollution, Smog, United States Environmental Protection Agency Pages: 5 (1781 words) Published: March 26, 2012
Air Pollution
The use of automobiles in our society today is as normal as waking up every morning and taking a shower. We are so dependent on the use of automobiles that we could not see ourselves without them, but we might have to start to consider one day not using them. Driving a car is the single most polluting thing that most of us does today or may be this might not be so true anymore. Now this is not a new problem, we have been discussing automobiles causing air pollution for decades, but what is new is the amount of air pollution that is being formed from our automobiles. Since air pollution from automobiles is rapidly increasing people need to learn what we have done in the past to try and change it, what is coming out of our automobiles, have we done all we can to prevent it, or can we do more to help preserve our planet. Now people have been talking about cars and air pollution for years and years, and it may seem as if we are still in the same place we were decades ago, but what most do not know is that we have actually tried and accomplished to decrease it. In 1988 The Clean Air Act was passed. It was to decrease emission levels of Carbon Monoxide and other gases, imposes regulation onto businesses to meet certain limits of pollution output for the products they develop. Within the next several years, the Act’s primary goals were to: 1. Decrease automobile pollution by 60% 2. Decrease industrial plant toxic air emissions by 90%; 3. Supply cleaner gasoline in already –polluted cities; 4. Decrease sulfur dioxide (acid rain) emissions from coal;-burning electrical plants by 50%. In order to meet these limits, automobile manufactures had to try to make significant developments to decrease emissions and increase fuel-efficiency. They are still striving to produce vehicles with emission levels ranging from half the current average car level to zero emissions (Andrew Waterman). Cars do not just sit there on the road and cause air pollution; the emissions from the car while it is running cause it. The problem is, is that we resort to using gasoline for our source of power. When we ordinary gasoline ,which is what we all use when we will up our gas tanks, we are burning cheap, ordinary gasoline that gives off three primary pollutants : Hydrocarbons (HC), Carbon Monoxide(CO), and Nitrogen oxides (NO). These products contribute mostly to smog and the ozone in cities such as Los Angeles, California (Andrew Waterman). Now ozone is not in fuels and/or is it a by-product of combustion, it is formed in the atmosphere through a complex set of chemical reactions involving hydrocarbons (HC), oxides of nitrogen, and sunlight. In typical urban areas (like Los Angeles) at least half of those pollutants come from cars, buses, and trucks. This is because it is so populated so the use of automobiles much higher than most other cities, and the cause of that is the city being covered in smog more than 70% of the time (Michael Bright). Now when most people hear the word hydrocarbon, or carbon monoxide, many would say that they do not know what they are or consist of. This is a problem because this is the stuff that is coming out of our Mercedes-Benz, BMWs, and trucks since we all drive those these days. Now hydrocarbon is any of numerous organic compounds, such as benzene and methane that contains only carbon and hydrogen. Now it doesn’t seem like it would be bad, but carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless, highly poisonous gas, CO, formed by the incomplete combustion of carbon or a carbonaceous material, such as gasoline. And Nitrogen Oxides are NOx Chemical compounds of nitrogen and oxygen; produced primarily from the combustion of fossil fuels, they contribute to the formation of ground-level ozone. Now these three chemicals are the main chemicals that are causing air pollution and the word “poisonous gas” doesn’t sound like its helping our problem ( Those three harsh chemicals are not all that effect air...
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