By: Bernice Bessey
An observation by the Accra file is that most commercial transport vehicles, especially, ‘trotro’ (mini buses) have smoking engines, and are polluting the air and in the process putting discomfort on their passengers and pedestrians.
At Kwame Nkrumah Circle lorry station in Accra, during the evening time, where many form queues waiting to board buses to their various destinations, they do not only suffer standing for long hours, but also inhale exhaust fumes.
In an interview passengers showed their frustration, and complained of finding difficulties in breathing.
Emmanuel Armah, a passenger at the lorry station, told the file that once he was in a space bus from Kaneshie to Circle, and the bus was producing so much heavy smoke that one of the passengers had an asthma attack.
He said, he often boards these buses which are never stopped by the police for polluting the air.
Meanwhile, some experts told the file that the fumes from the exhaust of vehicles contains toxic components such as carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, sulphur dioxide, formaldehyde, polycyclic hydrocarbons, and suspended particles which are harmful to the environment, and humans as well.
According to the experts, children and the elderly are the most at risk of getting health problems associated with exposure to exhaust fumes.
People with cardiovascular diseases, emphysema, and asthma, are also more vulnerable than otherwise healthy people, to the effects of exhaust fumes.
Additionally, the short-term exposure can cause eye, nose and throat irritation, and can result in the victim feeling light-headed.
Breathing diesel fumes can cause those with asthma to suffer an attack, and may interfere with the breathing of emphysema sufferers.
If a person is subjected to repeated acute exposure, his health problems may become chronic, and worsen over time.
These are threatening issues that the authorities must consider.
The file has noted that police often stop vehicles to check their insurance and other particulars, while no attention is paid to smoking vehicles, although it also has an effect on them.