Dangers of NOx emissions
The dangers of NOx emissions have come to the public’s attention in recent years, not only through the car emissions scandals of recent years (beginning with the Volkswagen emissions scandal of 2015), but also due to public health news stories about city pollution.
London is often a focal point for such media attention as well.
As such, it has become more and more apparent that the dangers of NOx emissions must not be underestimated; the pollution of NOx emissions can destabilise both public health and the ecosystem of our planet. It is, therefore, vital that car manufacturers are held to account for the damage they cause if they have been manufacturing cars that can cheat emissions tests.
During fuel combustion, nitrogen can be released and can combine with oxygen atoms. This can then produce nitric oxide (NO) and nitrogen dioxide (NO2).
On an environmental level, such gases can be highly damaging to the balance by which nature operates. If produced in significant amounts, NOx emissions can harm plants and vegetation by adversely affecting growth and causing damage to leaves.
For farming, this can also mean reduced crop yields.
In addition, when combined with atmospheric water vapour, NOx emissions can produce the nitric acid found in acid rain. For the man-made environment, acid rain can cause the weathering of stone and steel structures, but for the natural environment it can cause eutrophication, upsetting the natural balance of water habitats by causing algae to grow excessively.
The dangers of NOx emissions can also comprise of significant health risks, as air pollution is one of the most significant public health problems in the UK. Long-term exposure to NOx gases can damage lung function and can increase the risk of respiratory conditions.
Health risks are also created in environments where NOx reacts with other gases in the presence of sunlight, producing ground-level ozone (an oxygen gas) as a result. This can mean that congested cities can turn into hubs for this kind of pollution.
The potential effects of breathing in ozone can include coughing, irritation and inflammation of the airways, as well as damage to lung function and lung tissue. It can also cause the worsening of existing conditions such as asthma.
One German scientific study went as far as trying to pinpoint the extent of the damage Volkswagen was culpable for as a result of the ‘defeat devices’ that the company used to cheat emissions tests. The scientists estimated that, in Europe, the excess Volkswagen emissions created by breaches of emissions regulations could have reportedly corresponded to some 1,200 premature deaths and 13,000 life-years lost.
Holding car manufacturers to account
At The Car Emissions Lawyers, we believe that the dangers of NOx emissions should not be ignored, which is why we continue to bring legal actions against major car manufacturers.
We know that recent car emissions scandals have ruined many of the average consumer’s trust in large corporations, but they have also prompted important conversations about the impact of car emissions on the environment and on public health. As specialists in car emissions claims, we want to continue to raise the profile of these issues.
If you are one of the many car owners that have been affected by car emissions scandals, do not hesitate to get a claim started, as you could be entitled to compensation.
We are able to offer No Win, No Fee legal representation for eligible clients too.
IMPORTANT: advice on this page is intended to be up-to-date for the 'first published date'.