Death of a Planet

Essay by Anonymous UserCollege, UndergraduateA-, November 1996

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It's good, but not great -

Death of a Planet

Air pollution is a very big problem in the United States. A large part of air pollution

comes from cars. The Environmental Protection Agency says, 'The most polluting activity an

average person does everyday is drive their car'(1 factsheet OMS-5). Most people probably

aren't aware that they are polluting the environment. Maybe if everyone knew how serious this

pollution problem is, they would find ways to reduce the pollution.

Most pollution that is released by cars comes from the exhaust, mainly in the form of

hydrocarbons(1 factsheet, OMS-5). Hydrocarbons are organic compounds ,a combination of two

or more elements, that contain only carbon and hydrogen (2 factsheet, OMS-5). Hydrocarbons

are released when fuel in the engine burns partially. When hydrocarbons come in contact with

sunlight they form ground level ozone. Ground level ozone is a major ingredient in the formation

of smog.

Ground level ozone is responsible for irritating eyes, damaging lungs, and it

complicating respiratory problems. Hydrocarbons aren't the only pollutants released through car


Two more pollutants released through car exhaust are carbon monoxide and nitrogen

oxide. The first reduces the flow of oxygen to the bloodstream, and could harm people with heart

disease. Nitrogen oxide is formed when a car engine gets hot. It contains chemicals that aid in

the formation of ground level ozone as well as acid rain (2 factsheet, OMS-5). Acid rain destroys

the outsides of buildings, statues, etc. Acid rain can also contaminate drinking water, damage

vegetation, and destroy sealife. These two pollutants are two of the most dangerous pollutants

released through car exhaust. If these two pollutants were cut down just a little bit our planet

would be a safer place to live.

Carbon dioxide is another gas released through exhaust...