Essay on Air Pollutants

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A fleet of vehicles will have far reaching impacts; perhaps best known by the general public is the impact on air quality.

Air pollutants may be released in a number of ways: first through evaporation during fueling, second through tailpipe emissions while a car is running, and third through chemical reactions occurring with byproducts or unused components emitted into the atmosphere.(Motor vehicles and toxic air pollutants. 2008) Typical chemicals released include benzene, toluene, xylenes, diesel particulate matter, and volatile organic compounds.(Motor vehicles and toxic air pollutants. 2008) In addition, formaldehyde and acetaldehyde may be produced in reactions with the air. (Motor vehicles and toxic air pollutants. 2008)

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According to a 2005 study, air pollution may be estimated to be responsible for 3% of adult cardiopulmonary disease mortality; 5% of trachea and bronchus mortality; and in children 1% of mortality from acute respiratory infections in urban areas throughout the world.(Cohen et al., 2005)

Air pollutants from a fleet of vehicles may also cause environmental impacts such as the creation of ground level ozone, a key component of smog, and the emission of greenhouse gases suspected of causing drastic changes in the earth’s climate. (Transportation and air quality planning: Federal laws provide tools for change. 2008)

To combat these threats, federal and state level policies have been put in place to help monitor and reduce air pollution. Perhaps the most far reaching of these was the 1990 Clean Air Act which required the reformulating of gasoline and set emission standards from hydrocarbons and diesel particulate matter. Subsequent amendments to this act required the removal of lead from gasoline and limitations to the amount of sulfur in diesel fuel. (Air toxics from motor vehicles. August 1994) Government regulations on vehicles added requirements for emission reduction equipment such as catalytic converters.(Motor vehicles and toxic air pollutants.2008) Specific federal government

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