In 1913 Henry Ford first introduced to America a conveyor belt-based assembly line at Highland Park Ford Plant Factory, located in Michigan. The Highland Park Ford Plant Factory was a production plant for Ford Motor Company, formed in 1903. The assembly line benefited the company and modified worker’s productivity by reducing production costs and reducing assembly time. For example, “Ford’s famous Model T was assembled in ninety-three minutes” (The History of the Automobile). The assembly line boosted America’s economy, when Ford Motor Company lowered the price of the Model T it was made more affordable to most Americans. Today, automobiles are easily accessible to everyone, anywhere. Most Americans can drive, take a bus, call a taxi, or car-pool with friends. Typically caught up in their daily activities, the thought of conservation slips out of mind. As a result of automobiles, air pollution, human health, and automobile accidents have been negatively affected.
According to the U.S Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), more than half of the air pollution in the nation is caused by mobile sources, primarily automobiles. The ozone layer on the earth is in the upper atmosphere and helps protect life on earth from the sun’s strong ultraviolet rays. Although in the stratosphere the ozone is a protective shield, it is a harmful pollutant at ground level and depleted by human activity. The authorities of EPA further state that, “substances that contribute to ozone depletion usually have high concentrations of chlorine or bromine atoms and include chlorofluorocarbons, or CFCs, halons, methyl bromide, carbon tetrachloride and methyl chloroform.” Previously unaware of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs), and other ozone-depleting substances, early scientists learned that CFCs and HCFCs were widely used as refrigerants, insulating foams (vehicle air conditioning), and solvents. When CFCs and HCFCs enter the stratosphere, this is problematic due to the chlorine and bromine atoms breaking apart and negatively reacting with the ozone, causing depletion of the ozone later from chemical cycles. Recently, hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) are being produced to replace CFCs and HCFCs, especially for vehicle air conditioning.
Typically in the winter, it is popular to start one’s car and wait for it to warm up. Although it may be healthy for the car and them, it is not healthy for the environment. When leaving a car’s engine running, it circulates gases and particles into the environment such as carbon dioxide and hydrocarbons or particulate matters such as metal and soot. “Some air pollutants and particulate matter from cars can be deposited on soil and surface waters where they enter the food chain; these substances can affect the reproductive, respiratory, immune, and neurological systems of animals” (King).
Public health and safety are at risk when challenging air pollution. Fine particulates are responsible for many premature deaths and...