VEHICULAR EMMISSIONS AS AN ENVIRONMENTAL PROBLEM IN MINNA
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Posted on 9th July, 2010by Mr. Olumayokun Okelola
At present, not much is known about the overall environmental pollution problem of Niger State, especially the levels of pollution in the major towns of the state. Without a doubt, it is now generally accepted that the menace of environmental pollution poses serious risks to the health of the general populace.
In his study of vehicular emission, environmental and health implications, Enemari (2001) pointed out that vehicular emissions in typical urban centres constitute over 60% of the total pollutant emission compared to what anyone will naturally hope, think or assume. He recommended for proper servicing of vehicles for optimal performance and this should be encouraged. Also, he recommended that the refineries in the country should be fully evaluated with the aim of redesigning them to produce entirely unleaded petrol in the very near future. Furthermore, the use of catalytic converters in vehicles that use unleaded petrol to control photochemical seeding was recommended.
Bishop and Stedman (1996) have pioneered and developed an instrument to remotely measure vehicle emissions. In several studies it has been found that about 10% of the fleet generates more than 50% of total emissions of carbon monoxide (CO). Most cars are clean but a small number of malfunctioning or tampered with vehicles produce a major amount of regulated and un-regulated emissions. Idle tests are generally known to be a poor indicator of true emissions. In Finland the periodic inspection intervals have increased and therefore several years can pass without emission testing.
In 2008, the result of a multi-institutional team commissioned by The Department of Energy at The Lovelace Respiratory Research Institute (LRRI), led by Dr. Joe Mauderly, to study comparisons of health hazards from engine emissions, materialized. In conjunction with LRRI’s Dr. Jeanclare Seagrave, Dr. Kevin Whitney (Southwest Research Institute, San Antonio, Texas.), Dr. Barbara Zielinska (Desert Research Institute) the following discoveries were made:
– Some little-studied hard-to-sample “semi-volatile organic compounds” (SVOCs) caused both lung Sinflammation and cell damage in lungs.
– By acquired statistics, Dr. Mauderly, discovered that at equal doses, the inflammation caused by normal gasoline and diesel emissions was nearly identical.
– Thus, considering emission rates and toxicity, emissions from black smocking gasoline, high-emitting diesel and white smoking gasoline vehicles presented approximately 10, 30, and 70 times the health impact per unit of vehicle travel (e.g per mile).
– He also revealed for the first time, that high emitters contribute even more disproportionately to the public health burden of vehicular emissions.
He then, encouraged researchers to be concerned with measurements of both cancerous and non-cancerous effects, and encouraged on getting high polluting vehicles out of the neighborhoods, for cleaner technologies. Finally Mauderly (1999) highlighted brighter prospect in that more efficient emission control was well underway, and that the study had not yet finished providing valuable information; as determining the specific chemical species in engine emissions that cause the health effects.