Vehicles work on fuel. When this fuel burns to produce energy for the car to work, it also emits certain elements. The emissions usually include carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases. It adds to the level of air pollutions and has many harmful effects on the environment and the people living in a particular area.
As per latest reports, electricity is the largest sources of air pollution in Australia, and transport follows closely in the second position.
Reports suggest that 87% of Australian commuters use their car to travel to work. Australia also has road-based transport pollution, which amounts to more than the global average. 18% of the gas pollution in Australia is due to transport emission. Australia’s domestic air travel makes up 9% of the total transport emission.
Thus, such high levels of vehicle pollution are bound to affect the quality of the air and ultimately result in people suffering from diseases. However, children are most likely to develop health problems.
Approximately four million children have asthma every year due to the increasing levels of air pollution as a result of vehicle emissions. There is a severe effect on children’s health as they are more susceptible to fall prey to such diseases.
Observations suggest that such health issues are prevalent even in regions where the pollution levels are lower than the standards that the World Health Organization recommends. Thus, we can infer that even low levels of air pollution can be severely harmful to children’s health.
The threat to children’s health does not limit itself to underdeveloped or developing nations only. Cases of deteriorating children’s health are also present in developed countries like U.K and U.S.A.
Children are at risk for –
• Childhood Asthma
• Stunted lungs
• Damaging inflammation
• Other respiratory diseases
Nitrogen dioxide is the main contributor to vehicle pollution. Vehicles that run on diesel produce high levels of nitrogen dioxide. The amount of nitrogen dioxide emission is often much higher than the permissible levels. It results in severe respiratory problems, especially in children.
As mentioned above, asthma is only one of the many health issues that can result from the vehicle and air pollution.
Besides Nitrogen dioxide, other elements are part of the vehicle emission and can contribute to the air pollution levels. Particulate matter is microscopic particles that travel in the air. Children inhale these particles when they breathe in air. These can cause lung and respiratory problems, blockages, etc.
Researchers have also concluded that WHO standards of air pollution do not protect children against childhood asthma. Thus, the government organizations of every nation should take the necessary steps to make the environment safe, particularly for children.
Firstly, the government should take up a proactive role in setting up appropriate traffic rules concerning the emission levels. Proper implementation of traffic rules is one of the critical ways of preventing such diseases. The government should levy on transports that do not adhere to the traffic rules about emission levels. Also, vehicles should be subject to regular emission checks to ensure they do not pollute the environment.
Further, the public should attempt to reduce vehicle pollution by using other means of transport like bicycles, electric cars or even walk to short distances. Sharing transport to travel to the same place is also a great way of conserving resources and preventing harmful emission.
We need to remember that children across the world are vital as they are the future. We cannot afford to risk their lives and health. The Government, as well as the public, needs to make attempts at protecting future generations from all possible health hazards. Providing them with a healthy and safe environment will ensure that they can improve the world in social and economic spheres. Children are the future workforce, thus they need to be healthy. Labour is a great resource for any country that can give maximum economic benefits. A country with a large and healthy workforce will have better economic progress and develop rapidly.
Helpful Resource: Why do we need to monitor emissions that contribute to air pollution?