The automobile has contributed to the world in many ways. It has liberated the average person from the limitations of time and place.
An automobile also affects the environment in many ways. Cars, trucks and busses are a source of air and noise pollution. Some examples of these types of pollution are: carbon monoxide emitted thorough exhaust systems, chlorofluorocarbons present in air conditioners, metals, plastics, and rubber waste from disposed automobiles, and asbestos used in the brakes and clutches of these vehicles. Apart from this, automobiles are a source of sound pollution as well.
Automobiles consume energy and emit pollutants. Carbon monoxide emitted by automobiles can enter the bloodstream through the lungs. It can then form carboxyhemoglobin, a compound that inhibits the blood’s capacity to carry oxygen to organs and tissues.
A number of less evident but equally significant environmental issues occur during automobile’s life cycle. These impacts are related to automobile manufacture, usage, maintenance and disposal. Air conditioners in these vehicles contain chlorofluorocarbons which contribute to ozone depletion and global warming. A great deal of material like metals, plastics, and rubber goes into the manufacture of an automobile, making disposal of discarded vehicles present environmental problems.
Many governments and environmentalists are trying to develop more environment friendly means of transportation to minimize environmental pollution. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has primary responsibility for “mobile source” pollution control.