Pollution and harmful substances

Chemical emissions

Carbon dioxide (CO2)

Carbon monoxide (CO)

  • Impairs the oxygen uptake in the blood.
  • Leads to tiredness and can be life-threatening in large amounts.
  • Catalytic converters reduce carbon monoxide emissions.

Hydrocarbons (HC)

  • Causes cancer.
  • May impact on genetic material.
  • Contributes to the formation of tropospheric ozone.

Nitric oxide (NOx)

  • Contributes to the acidification of soil and eutrophication of lakes.
  • Impacts on human genetic material and airways.
  • Contributes to the formation of tropospheric ozone.

Tropospheric ozone

  • Ozone that forms too close to the ground is harmful to plants and animals.

Eutrophication

  • Eutrophication is when a lake gets too many plant nutrients (similar to us eating greasy fast food every day).
  • This leads to harmful algal blooms and the lakes getting overgrown.
  • The greatest causes are nitric oxide from traffic and phosphorus.

Acidification

  • Acidification is when acid substances spread to an abnormally large extent.
  • Causes damage to lakes and forests.
  • The greatest causes are nitric oxide from traffic and phosphorus.

Soot and harmful particles

  • Common problem in cities with many cars.
  • Affects the airways and can cause cancer.

Noise

  • Disturbing car noise is a common occurrence in cities.
  • Noise protection reduces the problems.

Statistics

  • 300–2,000 cases of cancer are caused by air pollution each year.
  • 1.5 million people are exposed to traffic noise in their homes.

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Last updated 2018-03-11.