How constant exposure to vehicle exhaust reduces lifespan – Experts


Health experts have warned Nigerians about the dangers in inhaling vehicle exhausts or emissions, because the long term effect can lead to terminal diseases. A consultant of Ear, Nose and Throat at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, Idi Araba, Lagos, Dr. Moronke Akinola, said some patients have certain chemicals in their body and when it gets in contact with the lung, it triggers the allergic reactions which affect the nose and the lungs.
“Allergies have no cure; it can only be controlled and managed, depending on the person’s quality of life,” Akinola said.
So avoidance is the major prevention to contacting those allergies, she added.
Akinola added that the Vehicle Inspector Office should enforce more stringent conditions on vehicles like truck, commercial buses and trailers, guilty of emissions. Individuals should also put their vehicles in good conditions too, she concluded.
The Medical Director of Stars Community Clinic, Lagos, Dr. Adeolu Olusodo, explained that inhaling vehicle exhaust fume is dangerous, because it contains carbon monoxide.
“Excessive inhalation may lead to immediate death. However, continuous inhalation in small quantities causes long term damage to the body,” he said.
He added that some of the long term effects of inhaling vehicle exhaust are hypertension and heart problems later in life.
“Some of the long term effects are hypertension, heart problems, lung problems and a possibility of cancer.”
Lagos State Chief Vehicle Inspection Officer, Engineer Gbolahan Toriola, told The Pointthat the law made provision for punishment for vehicles that bring out emission.
According to him, Section 37, schedule 3 of the traffic law states that it is wrong for a vehicle that is emitting excess emission to ply the road. And if such a vehicle is found on the road, it should be impounded and fined.
Toriola added that the fine in the traffic law is N7,000 for first time offender, and N30,000 for second time offender.
“We can detect if the person is a first offender or not by checking our data base on e-central billing. When we enter the plate number, it will bring out the record and with that we can detect if the driver is a first offender or not,” he added.
He explained that it is not all vehicle emission that is poisonous, adding, “When there is a complete combustion, you have what you call carbon dioxide and water, but when you don’t have a complete combustion, the result is carbon monoxide which is poisonous to the body.
“This applies to petrol engine. For a diesel engine, it is not complete combustion, but the volume of the exhaust can affect road users; so it has to be controlled.” But in petrol engine, the emission also affects the ozone layer, “which is responsible for climate change we have now,” he added.
“In Lagos State, we partner with the Lagos State Environmental Protection Agency, which give us permitable level or standard in terms of vehicle emission and what to expect from the vehicle,” he concluded.
The National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency is the national body saddled with the responsibility of ensuring a cleaner and healthier environment for Nigerians.
The Federal Government, through NESREA, has enacted environmental regulations to address various environmental challenges facing the nation. The Federal Government enacted 24 regulations to combat environmental pollutions and one of such law is the National Environmental (Control of Vehicular Emissions from Petrol and Diesel Engines) Regulations, 2011.
The Director General of NESREA, Dr. Lawrence Anukam, said the agency would launch Vehicular Emission Testing programme for effective monitoring and compliance of vehicular emission in Nigeria.
Anukam emphasised that NESREA will achieve this through private partnership in order to open testing centers in 22 locations in the country.
Efforts to get across to NESREA’s Public Relations Officer, Mr. Sule Oyofo, to confirm if the testing centers are now functional proved abortive as his phone number was not reachable.