Car exhaust and children
Road traffic is the most important cause of high pollutant concentrations in the air of our cities. With every meter that we drive by car, many substances are released into the air that endanger our health: hydrocarbons, nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide, benzene or diesel soot come from the exhaust gas; The abrasion of tires, brake pads and road surface additionally releases pollutants and dust particles.
Not only near the road, road traffic leads to bad air, but also far away in supposedly unencumbered areas: Under the influence of sunlight ozone is produced from nitrogen oxides and hydrocarbons in the lower atmosphere. As a result, high ozone concentrations can occur in summer - the so-called "summer smog".
Car exhaust and summer smog attack the sensitive respiratory tract, irritate the mucous membranes and lead to increased asthma and allergic susceptibility. The exhaust gases can also increase the risk of certain cancers and cardiovascular diseases.
Children are fed up
Children are particularly exposed to car exhaust gases: In "Kinderasenhöhe" pollutant concentrations are higher due to the proximity of the exhaust. Children are more active than adults. They move more and usually spend more time outdoors. Therefore, they often breathe more pollutants - related to body weight - than adults. High concentrations of ozone can cause more reactions in children with asthma. Studies have also shown that children living on busy roads had poorer readings in lung function tests and more frequent respiratory symptoms.
Despite catalyst only a Teilentwarnung
With the introduction of catalytic converters, higher fuel quality and better engines, the emissions of harmful exhaust gases from vehicles with gasoline engines have been reduced by up to 90%. In diesel engines, however, the emission of soot particles and nitrogen oxides could not be so effectively reduced. Only with the introduction of diesel soot filters, which has now been started by a French manufacturer, is it possible to reduce soot particles by more than 90%.
The lower emissions have significantly improved the air quality on roads. For example, the concentration of benzene has halved since the 1980s. For nitrogen oxides, which come for a large part from diesel vehicles, and for dust particles (soot, abrasion and whirling up), however, no all-clear can be given.
Mobility is not equal to traffic!
We all suffer from the high air pollution caused by traffic. But we are also involved in their creation. High mobility is essential for our society, but often with less motorized traffic.
Not always without a car - but as often as possible!
For example, with the wheel - the only zero-liter vehicle
Many ways for which we (out of habit?) Jump quickly into the car, are shorter than we think and thus feasible on foot or by bicycle, often without losing much time. This also makes kids more fun than sitting in the car strapped down. It is healthy three times good: healthy exercise, relief of the air and a lower own exhaust pollution.
The personal burden of exhaust gases is higher inside the car than on the roadside.
For example on foot - so that children experience more
Children who are allowed to walk have many opportunities to discover and experience their environment, to move, to meet friends or even to watch the neighbor's cat. Being brought to school by car may be a time saver - but the price is high:
Traffic chaos in front of the school with peak concentrations of pollutants, additional accident risks and children for whom a no-man's-land between home and school is.
For example by bus and train - also ideal in a combi-pack with the bike
Many areas in Germany have an attractive offer in public transport. Go on the next excursion (in leisure time twice as many kilometers are driven by car as in rush hour!) But sometimes on discovery trip by bus and train, perhaps combined with a bike ride. This saves the environment many exhaust fumes and also the congestion in the tourist traffic.
And if car, then with respect to the environment:
- in a low-consumption and low-emission vehicle
- with an energy-saving driving style
- with rolling resistance reduced tires and smooth running oil
- in a carpool