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Car Pollution Driving a car is the most polluting act an average citizen commits Emissions from cars is going up in Canada and the US despite attempts to make engines more fuel-efficient The main reason is that cars are getting bigger and pick-up trucks and sportutility vehicles replacing smaller lighter cars The average new vehicle in 1998 consumed more fuel than its counterpart in 1988 Exhaust from engines combine to produce adverse effects on the health of drivers and all other people Cars and trucks are dangerous machines Commercials for cars and trucks show vehicles in wilderness locations or recently one commercial shows a couple making a mad dash to escape a city in their expensive luxury car The commercials are advertising a fantasy of wilderness and escape But in reality these vehicles are mostly found in the traffic jams of polluted cities They have nowhere to go to escape the environmental problem they made Cars contribute to carbon dioxide accumulation in the atmosphere and are responsible for climate changes Cars release many different kinds of chemicals into the air such as and not limited too Carbon Dioxide Nitrogen Dioxide Sulphur Dioxide Benzene Formaldehyde and Polycyclic hydrocarbons Hydrocarbon emissions result when fuel molecules in the engine do not burn or burn only partially Hydrocarbons react in sunlight to form ground-level ozone Ozone irritates the eyes damages the lungs and aggravates respiratory problems Many exhaust hydrocarbons are also toxic which may cause cancer Another harmful emission from cars is carbon monoxide Carbon monoxide is a colorless odorless poisonous gas In 1992 carbon monoxide levels exceeded the Federal air quality standard in 20 US cities home to more than 14 million people Carbon monoxide results from incomplete combustion of fuel and is released from cars tailpipes Incomplete combustion is most likely to occur at low air-to-fuel ratios in the engine Nationwide two-thirds of the carbon monoxide emissions come from cars with the largest contribution coming
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