Carbon monoxide Emission
Transportation in the atmosphere in U.S. (P.A 5351 Policy paper)
By Ayodamola Olanipekun
CARBON MONOXIDE FROM TRANSPORTATION
monoxide is being emitted from vehicles as a result of incomplete combustion of
gasoline in engine cylinders. Combustion is the conversion of the fuel to
lower-molecular-weight intermediate hydrocarbons (including olefins and
aromatics) and their conversion to aldehydes and ketones, then to Carbon
monoxide. Outdoor concentrations of Carbon monoxide tend to be higher in urban
areas and to increase with the density of vehicles and miles driven. EPA 2000A
says the highest concentrations of carbon monoxide generally occur on weekdays
during the commuting hours of 7:00–
9:00 a.m. and 4:00–6:00 p.m. A lot of
Americans die each year from carbon monoxide poisoning. Between 1979 and 1988,
11,547 deaths due to accidental CO poisoning were recorded in the United
States. Of these, 6,552 (57%) were due to exposure to motor vehicle exhaust.
Increase in vehicles in the 1960s on the road led to increase of carbon
monoxide emission in U.S. Higher level of carbon monoxide emission happens in
places where there is traffic congestion. Carbon monoxide concentration is
usually higher near intersections where traffic volume is highest and vehicles
are more often in an accelerating state leading to higher emissions. This policy memo will provide further
alternatives to the Texas state government in designing the state
implementation plan to meet up the emission requirement by the Environmental
Protection Agency to reduce the emission of carbon monoxide from
transportation. The responsibility of clean air in U.S is saddled with the
state government. The federal government funds this through the Environmental
The Environmental Protection Agency
reported in 2015 that transportation accounts for 27% of the total sources of
greenhouse gas emission which is the second most common source of emission. Light
weight vehicles represented the largest percentage (60%) of the total out of
the 27%. Carbon monoxide from transportation contributes greatly to the bad
quality of air in the environment which has a life-threatening effect on the
HEALTH EFFECTS OF CARBON MONOXIDE
Carbon monoxide (CO) is a colorless, odorless,
toxic gas that is a product of incomplete combustion of hydrocarbons Carbon
monoxide is one of the harmful substances of the harmful substances emitted
majorly through transportation Breathing
in carbon monoxide can cause
headache, dizziness, unconsciousness, nausea and finally death. High level of exposure to carbon monoxide
causes heart diseases. Emissions from transportation sources contributes greatly to the
asthma which has made asthma a serious
problem in the United State. Incidences of asthma has been on the increase
since 1980.Over 3,300 people died of asthma in United states in 2009. Asthma is a serious problem
in the United States. WHO 2000 says Severe hypoxia due to acute carbon
monoxide poisoning may cause both reversible, short-lasting neurologic deficits
and severe, often delayed neurologic damage. The issue
of carbon monoxide in the air cannot be over emphasized. U.S
Environmental Protection Agency, 2012 says vehicle exhaust contributes to 75%
of all carbon monoxide emissions in the US and up to 95% of all emissions in US
cities. Study shows that vehicles emit carbon monoxide faster when travelling
at a low speed. Carbon monoxide poisoning occur majorly during winter. The diseases attributed to air pollution
poses threat to humanity.
The quest for improved standard of living has
also made the issue important. In the United States, according to Schaplowsky
et al., 1974 a report from the early 1970s suggested that more than 3800 people
died annually from accidental and intentional carbon monoxide poisoning. Schaplowsky et al. (1974) estimated that
more than 10?000 people per year in the United States required medical
attention or missed at least 1 day of work in the early 1970s because of
sublethal exposures to Carbon monoxide. A recent study (Hampson, 1998)
estimated over 40?000 emergency department visits annually for recognized acute
carbon monoxide poisoning in the United States. Kao, 2005; Iqbal, 2012 argued that carbon monoxide carbon monoxide
emission continues to be the leading
cause of poison-related mortality in the United States. This pollutant is
highly detrimental to the health of the public.
HOW HAS IT BEING OVERTIME?
The rate of car ownership or number of motor vehicles
on the road in US has led to the increase in transportation related emissions. EPA estimates that as at 1998,
automobiles contributed 60% of the carbon monoxide, mission controls have
improved over the past 30 years resulting in a 79% decrease in carbon monoxide
ambient concentration. Despite the effort of the EPA to a reduce the emission
of carbon monoxide, some locations still experience concentrations that exceeds
the health standard. EPA 2001 says that
with the introduction of emissions controls, particularly automotive catalysts,
estimated Carbon monoxide emissions from all sources decreased by 21% from 1980
Since the 1960’s various strategies have been employed to
control automobile emissions in the United States. In 1970, Congress adopted
the first major Clean Air Act and established the U.S. Several attempts have
been made to reduce the rate of emissions
through transportation. The Clean Air Act was set up in 1970 to control air
pollution in U.S. The Clean Air Act requires EPA to set national ambient air
quality standards (NAAQS) for carbon monoxide. EPA also review the standards to
confirm that they protect the environment. The clean air act has been a
success. Despite its success, there is still a substantial amount of carbon
monoxide in the air.
EPA has set
emissions standards for passenger cars and trucks, on road heavy duty trucks
and buses. Since 1970, EPA has set and implemented emissions standards to
control carbon monoxide from passenger vehicles, heavy duty trucks and
buses. These standards are a part of the
progress and improved air quality they have achieved. Two main strategies are
being used in the reduction of carbon monoxide. First, authorizing the
Environmental Protection Agency to set national ambient air quality. The second
strategy was to establish emission control standards in order to bring their
emissions below certain levels, thus allowing attainment and maintenance of the
ambient air standards. The act was adjusted in 1977 and further amendment was made
in 1990 to tighten the vehicle emission requirement.
Each state is required under the Clean Air Act to submit a State
Implementation Plan (SIP) to the EPA detailing what the state will do to clean
up areas that have been designated as non-attainment, or exceeding pollution
limits. Included in the SIP are estimates and projections of mobile source
pollutant emissions inventories. EPA vehicle emissions
standards directly sparked the development and implementation of a range of
standards led to the adoption of many modern automotive technologies—computers,
fuel injection, and on-board diagnostics—resulting in cars that are not only
much cleaner, but also higher quality, more reliable, and more durable.
WHAT MORE CAN BE DONE?
An effective public transportation system
can be utilized in reducing the number of cars on the road. Investing in
public transport could serve as a capacity building tool in policy making as
regards reducing carbon monoxide emission. Apart from the fact that an
efficient system of transportation can reduce the emission of carbon monoxide,
Simon 1996 argued that the creation of strong transportation infrastructure is an
essential aspect of a community’s development, both in terms of economic
activity and the opportunities available to community members. This policy will
encourage more people to make use of the public transit infrastructures.
public transportation system has a cost benefit analysis.
According to EPA, for every one dollar spent on programs to reduce emissions,
the American people receive nine dollars of benefits to public health and the
environment. Following the concept of cost benefit analysis, investing
in public transportation as a way of reducing their emission of carbon monoxide
should be politically accepted since the gains exceeds the losses which might
be incurred in the process.
Fuel tax and
vehicle tax increase is another method of reducing the emission from vehicles.
Increasing fuel tax can help in discouraging
This method is politically practicable
but will seem uncalled for by the public because it might be seen as
exploitation by the government. The severity of the issue justifies this
alternative. This alternative is feasible because the benefit supersedes the
cost. (IMF 2015; Merrill, et al. 2015 argued that researchers estimate that
eliminating fuel subsidies could reduce global greenhouse emissions 11% to 18%.
Encouraging the purchase of hybrid vehicles: Hybrid
vehicles use more than one source of power. Reduction of registration fees for
this type of vehicles will encourage people to buy more of it.
consequently reduce the combustion of fuel and ultimately reduce emission
principle of mixed land uses: smart growth refers to development
practices that result in more, mixed assessable, multi-modal communities where
travel distances are shorter, and people have more travel options bike friendly
roads. Smart growth policies reduce per capita vehicle travel and fuel
consumption by 10-30%. This
alternative may be quite expensive and may take time. Support
from public stakeholders may facilitate the political feasibility of this
Increase in the number of vehicle
ownership has compounded the problem of how dirty the air is. There are many
possible ways to reduce transportation emission. This policy paper proposes
several policy alternatives for the abatement of emission through
transportation. Combination of two or more alternatives seems to the best way
of reducing emissions through transportation. The world car free day is an event that
encourages people to move around without their personal cars. Walking ,biking,
mass transit are the alternatives used on this event. Everyday can be a car
free day in U.S if the public transportation is more efficient and
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