Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Yet another reason for free public transport

Many serious Health issues in industrial countries can be directly attributed to airborne pollution. Sydney has its fair share of pollution due to the contribution from transport. Making public transport free would reduce these dangerous pollutants to such a degree that its effect on the health system and long term savings can only be estimated.

transport pollution in NSW

NOx is mainly made up of nitric oxide and nitrogen dioxide. These are primary pollutants emitted when fossil fuels are burnt, i.e. fuel in motor vehicles, coal in industry.

VOCs mainly come from unburnt petrol and diesel from motor vehicle exhaust, fuel vapours from petrol stations and petrochemical industries, vapours from paints, aerosols and solvents used in commercial and domestic activities, as well as natural emissions from vegetation and fires.

PM10 is particle pollution. It occurs when tiny airborne particles are formed in the atmosphere and, without any wind to scatter them, they reach high concentrations and affect visibility. These particles are generally less than 50 micrometers (┬Ám). You’d think these microscopic particles were too small to do much damage. Unfortunately, size is their strength. Fine particles are light and tend to stay floating in the air for days or weeks until they’re removed by rain. During this time they can travel remarkable distances from their source and affect air quality right across a region. Larger, heavier particles stay in the air for a shorter time before being deposited locally, sometimes soiling or damaging materials, but certainly adding to the grimy look of some built-up areas.

It is time for free public transport.

Adam Butler
(information in this post is taken from the NSW Government website “Let’s Clear the Air“)

No comments:

Post a Comment