VANDERBIJLPARK. – A major contributor to poor air quality in the Emfuleni area has been identified as diesel vehicle emissions by the Emfuleni Local Municipality (ELM). ELM last week launched a diesel emissions control awareness programme from the local Fire Station on the corner of Frikkie Meyer and Westinghouse Boulevard.
The programme will be implemented in the area of ELM jurisdiction, which is part of Sedibeng District Municipality.
During the launch, ELM will display the procedure and instruments to be used to test diesel-driven vehicle emissions. ELM officials will also give advice.
ELM will launch this program as an awareness project in preparation for the promulgation of municipal air quality by-laws.
As part of Phase 1, ELM will test the municipal fleet and later help fleet companies who want to prepare for compliance with accredited standards.
This follows ELM’s recognition of its situation in the Vaal Triangle Airshed Priority Area. The major sources of pollution are domestic coal burning and industrial emissions.
Traffic, especially diesel, is not significant but requires control. Diesel-driven vehicles are responsible for particulate matter (PM10) and NOx.
The Emfuleni area is highly industrialized and roads constitute the major transport routes. The numerous industries mean large traffic volumes of trucks coming and going. Most of these emit black smoke.
This can be associated with the aggravation of respiration-related medical conditions and some organ cancers. The smoke from diesel-driven vehicles is harmful to human health and to the environment, damaging trees, crops and also causing water and land pollution.
Diesel exhaust fumes contain “fine particulate matter”. Diesel emissions are one of the biggest sources of this other than natural sourceslike forest fires.
* Airborne particulate matter smaller than 10 micrograms is a significant health risk as it can pass through the nose and throat and become lodged in the lungs, where damage becomes likely. Diesel emissions can aggravate respiratory conditions such as asthma and bronchitis.
News source: Mooivaal Media – Vaalweekblad