Privately Owned Gasoline Powered
Vehicles Should Be Limited
The automobile has become a very important part of todays society. It is a necessity to own or to have access to a car in order to keep up with all of the competition of the business world, and also ones social demands. Most people would not be able to travel around a country or the world without this incredible machine, for it provides freedom and mobility, even for people who do not own a car. Unfortunately, the car has a very destructive nature. Automobiles make a major contribution to air and noise pollution, the depletion of fossil fuels, and the abnormalities in children and adults due to lead poisoning. Although our economy currently defends on gasoline- powered cars, it is my belief that the use of gas-powered automobiles must be limited because of air pollution, natural resources and lead poisoning.
First of all, and most importantly, automobiles are harmful to our environment. By definition, automobiles run on gasoline, which is a mixture derived from petroleum. Gasoline contains hundreds of different hydrocarbons, or compounds containing the chemical elements carbon and hydrogen (Gasoline). When the gas is burned in the engine of the car, several byproducts result. These exhausts include hydrocarbons and oxides of three elements: Carbon, nitrogen, and sulfur (Emissions). Tiny amounts of poisonous trace elements such as lead, cadmium, and nickel also are present. Everything contained in the exhaust affects the environment intensely. Auto engine exhaust contributes about fifty percent of todays atmospheric pollution, and in highly populated and industrialized cities, air pollution consists of up to 80% car exhaust. Because of all of the gasoline-powered cars on the road, the earths outermost protective shell, the ozone layer, is being destroyed. The ozone layer guards against, among other things, global warming and skin cancer. If it is annihilated, the whole planet, including the human race, will be erased along with it. This is one reason gasoline powered automobiles should be limited.
Another reason privately owned gasoline powered vehicles should be limited is the depletion of the fossil fuel supply. People all over the world need petroleum, a fossil fuel, to fill their cars in order to get around. However, petroleum, like many other natural resources on this earth, is in short supply. The continued use of petroleum at the current rate will cause the limited supply to dwindle. Our society does not seem to realize this point, though. As a result; petroleum is wasted in many ways while en route to an automobiles gas tank. In order to stop these things from occurring, we, the entire population as a whole, must consolidate our opinions and come up with alternatives to these harmful activities. One such alternative is the electrically powered automobile, which runs on a battery much the same as the one underneath the hood of the car now.
A third reason privately owned gasoline powered vehicles should be limited is because they are contributing to an enormous source of lead in the air, which is dangerous to the body. When gasoline is burned in the engine of an automobile, it can release many things, dependent upon what type of gasoline it is. There are two main types of gasoline: leaded and unleaded. The leaded contains lead, while the unleaded does not contain as much. Fortunately, most cars today require gasoline of the unleaded type. However, some old cars still in use need leaded fuel. This poses a threat to every person in the world, for every one of us could die of lead poisoning. Lead was first added to gasoline in the 1920s to improve car mileage and prevent engine knock, or an explosion that occurs when the gas is compressed in the engine. Lead levels in human blood rose with the proliferation of cars and trucks on the highway. It has since been proved that auto emissions are the single largest source of lead in our environment, and that high levels of lead in young children can cause brain damage, mental retardation, kidney disorders, and interfere with the processing of Vitamin D. Because of the preponderance of unleaded fuel on the market, the amount of lead in the air has decreased. But does this mean that the chance of lead poisoning from car exhaust has decreased dramatically? Not at all. Over twenty percent of lead poisoning cases in children reported in 1990 have been caused by car exhaust, had effected dropping only five percent from 1985. This produces evidence that many, if not all, of the ways to reduce lead in the air that is harmful to humans have failed (Applebee 2).