Since the invention of the automobile, man has put on this earth millions upon millions of cars. These automobiles that we so frequently use, are now polluting the environment we live in. Our cars are now the single greatest contributors of poisonous gases in our environment today. These poisonous gases not only take their toll on the environment, but they also have a harmful affect on our lives as well. These gases create many serious environmental problems, which in turn affect the health of all human beings. The serious environmental problems, which affect humans today, are acid rain, smog, and ozone depletion.
These three manifestations of pollution tend to cause the most health risks in our society. Everyday millions of people use their cars, not realizing the harmful gases emanating from their exhaust pipes. As a result of their toxic emissions all life forms on earth are being affected in some way. Many people that live in areas such as, Los Angeles, California, which is covered in a blanket of smog, face many health risks everyday. These people tend to suffer from conditions resulting in the inhalation of theses gases and combinations of these gases.
Many of these gases come from car emissions, due to the over abundance of motor vehicles in our society. The four main gases that are a direct result of car emissions are nitric oxide, nitrogen dioxide, carbon monoxide, and carbon dioxide. These gases are harmful in their own right, but when they mix with other gases in the atmosphere the results are devastating. Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless, gas that is produced from incomplete combustion of hydrocarbon based fuels (web). After carbon monoxide is formed it is emitted directly from the tailpipes and released into the environment. In the environment carbon monoxide is breathed by every living creature in its path.
Carbon monoxide poisoning is a very serious problem; it kills 1, 500 people annually accord in to the Journal of American Medical Association (JAMA) (www. home safe). This gas accomplishes this by creating a carboxy hemoglobin, which will not allow the blood to carry oxygen to the organs and tissues. Some of the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning are the flu, dizziness, fatigue, headache, nausea, and irregular breathing. Prolonged exposure of carbon monoxide can also cause deaths. Our government is claiming that there doing and great job in the war against Carbon Monoxide, but in the end it is the people who are suffering.
Car companies are working hard on making better catalytic converters for our cars, but what the car companies are not making is converters that last. Eventually as our cars age the converters age as well, thus reducing its affect on carbon monoxide emissions into our environment. In the high temperatures and pressure that exist within a car's engine, nitrogen and oxygen combine to form various particles of nitrous oxides. The three gases that are known today as nitrous oxide, are nitrogen dioxide, nitric oxide, and nitrogen tetroxide. Of those three, nitrogen dioxide is the most dangerous to humans and our ecological system. Nitrogen dioxide is a reddish brown gas that is not combustible and has a very irritating odor.
This gas is highly toxic and can even cause death if exposed to high concentrations of the gas. In Humans there are various short-term symptoms that show that you have inhaled the gas. These symptoms are coughing, cheat pains, pneumonia and bronchitis (web). Nitrogen dioxide is also one of the major pollutants that causes acid rain and smog.
Nitrogen oxide gas is released into the atmosphere and mixes with other chemicals to form these abnormal weather. It is possible that nitrogen oxide gas can be eliminated from our atmospheres, but the only problems are the cost and the length of time to do it. Another gas of the nitrogen oxide family, is nitric oxide. This gas is also produced in the engine of our automobiles due to incomplete combustion of fuel. Nitric oxide is another extremely toxic gas that attacks the respiratory systems of humans.
Nitric oxide does its damage by chemical reactions, when the nitric oxide gas comes in contact with the fluid of our bodies. Nitric oxide will then turn to nitric acid in our bodies and gradually kill our bodies over time (web). The immediate signs of nitric oxide poisoning is the irritation of the mucus membranes of the respiratory tract, and when exposure continues coughing and burning of the throat will emerge and if not removed, death will occur. For the people who are exposed to low concentrations of nitric oxide everyday, they re in a higher risk of respiratory failure and severe tooth decay, than regular people in the work force. The people that suffer the most from these conditions are people that work in steel mills and the car assembly lines. Nitric oxide is also one of the main components in acid rain and smog.
Nitric oxide is used in the atmosphere to make nitrogen dioxide and nitrogen tetroxide in our atmosphere. Carbon Dioxide gas is one of those necessary evils that we can't do without. Every creature that breathes on this planet produces carbon dioxide, but carbon dioxide is a necessary part of life. If there wasn't carbon dioxide in our environment all plants and animals would eventually suffocate. Our plants and trees absorb the carbon dioxide in our environment and produce oxygen for all the animals on our planet. Carbon dioxide is made up of one atom of carbon and two atoms of oxygen.
It is a clear gas with no distinct odor and is not very toxic for humans unless exposed to extremely high concentrations of the gas. Even though Carbon dioxide is not that toxic, it may exacerbate the toxicity of other poisonous gases (web). Since carbon dioxide has been around for millions of years and it is a substance we can live without. It is a substance that we can't do too much of either. Carbon dioxide in our atmosphere absorbs the heat from our sun and keeps us in a relatively good climate. But if too much carbon dioxide enters the atmosphere it will trap the sun's heat and slowly raise the temperatures around the earth.
This is why carbon dioxide is one of the major greenhouse gases in our atmosphere today. In conclusion, the evidence against our automobiles is overwhelming and points towards rapid change. If we don't do something to stop the onslaught of poisonous gases on our environment there will not be a planet for us to live on. With these gases in our environment our society is going to have to deal with the health problems and the possibility of death do to complications of the poisoning of the air. There has been many answers to all the problems caused by automobile emissions, but oil industries with there money have been able to influence the government not to make sanctions on the car companies just to make there pockets a little more fat.
Maybe, if we lived in a world were people cared about life instead of money then we can have a cleaner environment.