Links to Information Sources on
Vehicle Exhaust Emissions:
YOU Can Do to Reduce Pollution and Improve Fuel Economy
emissions from vehicles is an important concern, as cars/trucks are a
major source of air pollution contributing to health and environmental
problems such as urban smog, air toxics, and global warming. Yet
individual driving habits make a big difference in the amount of
pollution a vehicle produces.
Exhaust emissions are at best unhealthy. At worst
they can be fatal.
As part of your health
and safety responsibilities, you are legally required to
manage the risks from hazardous substances. Both petrol and diesel
engines produce carbon monoxide, soot and other contaminants. It's
your responsibility to prevent or at least control exposure. For
example, you might need to:
ensure that diesel engines are properly tuned
fit control systems such as catalytic
enforce procedures such as ensuring that
engines are switched off when not needed
fit extraction fans in areas where fumes can
You should also watch out for warning signs.
Blue or black smoke produced by poorly maintained or faulty
engines is particularly harmful. The build up of soot on walls can
also show that diesel fumes are excessive.
Smoke is the product of combustion. Vehicles at
your workplace may produce three kinds of smoke, two of which
indicate engine problems. The three types are:
- blue smoke (mainly oil and unburnt fuel)
which indicates a poorly serviced and/or tuned engine;
- black smoke (soot, oil and unburnt fuel)
- indicates a mechanical fault with the
- white smoke (water droplets and unburnt
fuel) which is produced when the engine is started from cold
and disappears when the engine warms up.
With older engines, the white smoke produced
has a sharp smell which may cause irritation to your upper
easy things you can do to help keep emissions as low as possible are:
Avoid unnecessary driving
Maintain your vehicle properly
Drive your vehicle wisely
combining these strategies, you can very effectively reduce the amount
your vehicle pollutes. And there are additional benefits — your vehicle
will last longer and you will save money.
effective way to reduce emissions from your vehicle is to use it less.
Several options are available to help you reduce the amount you drive.
These include consolidating trips, telecommuting, carpooling, using
public transit, and choosing clean transportation alternatives such as
biking or walking. By planning errands, you will get the most out of
time you do spend behind the wheel. For example, call ahead to confirm
that the product you need is in stock before you drive to the store.
Plan to do several tasks when you go somewhere.
Your Car Properly
reduce your vehicle’s emissions and enhance its performance if you
follow the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance guidelines. By taking
proper care of your vehicle, you will also extend its life, increase its
resale value, and optimize its fuel economy. The owner’s manual that
comes with your vehicle contains a wealth of information. It outlines
recommended maintenance intervals, product specifications, and operating
procedures. Every vehicle has some items that need to be checked on a
regular basis and others that need to be replaced periodically. These
include the air filter, vacuum and coolant hoses, oil, oil filter,
fluids, belts, and so on. It’s also important to keep the tyres inflated
to the recommended pressure. This will minimize tyre wear and help your
vehicle get the best possible fuel economy.
vehicles are designed with emission controls as integral components of
the powertrain. Any tampering with this system will not only drastically
increase emissions but is likely to have a negative effect on vehicle
performance and durability.
Wisely: Helpful Habits to Reduce Pollution
perfectly maintained vehicle will pollute more than necessary if it is
driven carelessly. Your vehicle’s emissions will be lower if you apply
common sense to your driving and follow basic rules of the road. Driving
situations likely to increase pollution include:
save fuel by turning the engine off and restarting it again if you
expect to idle for more than 30 seconds. You will also prevent pollution
by avoiding long idles. Try parking your vehicle and going into
restaurants, banks, and the like instead of idling in drive-up lanes.
in traffic is not always avoidable. But whenever possible, plan trips
outside rush hour and peak traffic periods. Try to “smooth” your driving
by accelerating and decelerating gradually, anticipating stops and
starts for traffic lights, changing traffic speeds, and so on.
Use of a
vehicle air conditioner increases load on the engine. This can increase
emissions and decrease fuel economy. Try opening the window or the fresh
air vent to cool the inside of your vehicle. Also, park in the shade if
you can to prevent the car from heating up in the sun. Besides keeping
the interior temperature of your car more comfortable, you will lessen
the pollution and waste that occurs when gasoline evaporates from the
engine and gas tank.
vehicle burns more gas and emits more pollution when the engine is
operating under high load; that is, when it is working especially hard.
Extra load is created by running the air conditioner, quick
accelerations, high-speed driving, climbing grades, revving the engine,
and carrying extra weight.
control systems take longer to warm up and become fully operational in
cold weather. However, idling will not help. Modern vehicles need
little warmup; they’re most efficient when being driven. Idling for long
periods in cold weather can actually cause excessive engine wear.
gasoline pollutes the air when it evaporates. Watch what you do at the
filling station to prevent spills and overfills. It’s best to avoid
“topping off,” especially in hot weather.
So all in
all we have numerous means of reducing our vehicle emissions and
improving fuel economy
Avoiding unnecessary driving
Maintaining your vehicle properly
Driving your vehicle wisely
By combining these strategies, you can very effectively
reduce the amount your vehicle pollutes. And there are additional
benefits — your vehicle will last longer and you will save money.
Links to Information Sources on
Vehicle Exhausts :
information on diesel
Diesel and possible health hazards form human exposure
An online information service on
Diesel Exhaust Emissions and control
Diesel Forum based
Canadian Diesel Engine Emissions
Evaluation Programme (DEEP)
US based NIOSH review of technology on
Diesel Particulate Filter Selection Guide for Diesel-powered Equipment
in Metal and Nonmetal Mines
US based NIOSH
safety training materials,
many can be downloaded free
Information on diesel emissions form US based Environmental
to Evaluate Diesel Emissions in the ACES Project
UK based association for
UK Transport Energy Emissions
Transport Alternatives and
Sulfur Fuels procurement guide
Puget Sound Clean Cities Coalition
Vehicle Emissions Information
Gateway Clean Air Program - RapidScreen
Frequently Asked Questions
Vehicle emission testing - Wisconsin
Department of Transportation
Links to other sources of