There are three broad sources of air pollution from human activities: stationary or point, mobile, and indoor. In developing countries especially in the rural area, indoor air pollution from using open fires for cooking and heating may be a serious problem. Industries, power plants etc. are the cause of stationary air pollution. But in urban areas both developing and developed countries, it is predominately mobile or vehicular pollution that contributes to air quality problem. The worst thing about vehicular pollution is that it cannot be avoided as the vehicular emissions are emitted at the near-ground level where we breathe. Pollution from vehicles gets revealed through symptoms like cough, headache, nausea, irritation of eyes, various bronchial problems and visibility and are due to discharges like CO, unburned HC, Pb compounds, NOx, soot and aldehydes, among others, from the tail pipes of vehicles. High vehicle density in Indian urban centers.
Older vehicles predominant in vehicle vintage.
Inadequate inspection and maintenance facilities.
Predominance of two stroke two wheelers.
Adulteration of fuel and fuel products.
Improper traffic management system and road conditions.
High levels of pollution at traffic intersections.
Absence of effective mass rapid transport system & intra-city railway networks. High population exodus to the urban centers.
VEHICULAR POLLUTION CONTROL
Augmentation of public transport system
Mass Rapid Transport System may be considered for the fast expanding and major urban areas in the country. Incentives and regulations affecting vehicles with a view to reducing the rate of growth in ownership of personal vehicles. Reduce congestion through traffic planning and management. Also, construction of express highways linking major urban areas should be undertaken. Greater promotion and use of alternative fuels such as CNG/LPG/Propane/ battery operated vehicles. Expansion of CNG dispensing facilities and increased fiscal incentives for CNG kits. Curbing fuel adulterationstate-of-the-art testing facilities and deterrent legal action. Scrap page of old and polluting vehicles on road.
Need for an integrated approach with appropriate regulations and pricing mechanisms. Further tightening of emission norms and fuel quality specifications. Inspection and Certification System.
AIR POLLUTANTS AND RELATED ILLNESS
A compelling reason for controlling air pollutants such as suspended particulate matter (SPM) or respirable particulate matters (RPM) or sulphur dioxide (SO2) is their damaging effect on human health. Of all air pollution constituents, the WHO has identified SPM as the most sinister in terms of its effect on health. Sulphur Dioxide (Sox):
Colourless Gas (Diesel-driven vehicles).
Bronchitis, frequent colds, emphysema, lung cancer.
Nitrogen Oxide (Nox):
Yellowish gas (Diesel-driven).
Bronchitis, low lung function in children, high incidence of asthma. Combines with oxygen to form ozone, which causes progressive lung damage. Carbon Monoxide (CO):
Invisible gas (Petrol-driven vehicles)
Impairs oxygen-carrying capacity of blood. Affects central nervous system, high blood pressure, heart disease. More than 3% concentration by volume in respirated air can lead to sudden death. Lead (Pb):
Metallic, chemical element
Extremely toxic, affects central nervous system. Leads to loss of weight, abdominal pain, brain damage and low IQ in children. Hydrocarbons (HC):
Sweet smelling, colourless or whitish gas (Emitted by 2- and 3-wheelers). Bronchitis, eye irritation, cataracts, cancer of skin & liver. Suspended particulate matter (SPM).
Bits of carbon, ash and oil emitted specially from diesel-driven vehicles.20% vehicles are diesel powered. This affects us the worst, as range in size from 15 to 2.5 micrograms per cubic metre and are fine enough to be deeply respirable. Benzene:...