Byproduct: The Environmental Impact Of The Auto Industry

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The auto industry has been under scrutiny for decades now about the contribution automobiles have on climate change. It's no secret that when most vehicles burn fuel, the byproduct is harmful greenhouse gases. Since this is a relatively well known topic, I wanted to have a look at other environmental issues that arise from manufacturing automobiles known as non-exhaust pollution . In the US, driving is the most common form of transportation. Their cities are built around roads and cater to driving so it's no wonder this has become such a popular method of transportation. According to the EPA, there are currently over 250 million registered passenger vehicles currently in use in the country. An additional 10-11 million reach the end of their lives each year and need to be taken out of service (Environmental Impacts from Automobiles, 2015). This shear amount of vehicles that are in operation have varying negative environmental effects. This is a concern for the American auto industry as they are the biggest user of vehicles and this is an ethical issue for many…show more content…
There are a lot of harmful chemicals like nickel, copper and hexavalent chromium in paint that get into the atmosphere when the vehicles are painted (Environmental Impacts from Automobiles, 2015). This can mainly cause respiratory issues for people and is a concern for the local area where the paint plant resides. After a vehicle is painted there is a lot of left over hazardous materials. This accounts for up to 25% of a plant's entire hazardous waste so is a significant contributor. Most of this comes from the cleaning process used in the paint plant. A third issue that comes from this step of the operation is the amount of energy that is needed to get a car painted. Large curing ovens are used in the drying segment to speed up the process and this in turn uses a large amount of energy (Howard,

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