This has a huge impact on the environment as more people driving means higher amounts of emissions, which include “hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide, sulfides and nitrates” (McLaughlin, 2013, p.
61) to be leaked into the air. These substances are most toxic to humans and are the main causes of health related illness in New Zealand (McLaughlin, 2013). Human health and air quality are directly connected and unavoidable.
It is important to discuss the implications of an air polluted environment on human health. Respiratory illness such as asthma is triggered by allergens, make, chemicals and gases in the air (Ministry of Health [IMHO 2013).Asthma affects one in four children in New Zealand (Auckland Council, 2012). As people continue to affect their environment without regard for the consequences, their health is at risk. The release of PM. 5 fine particulates produced by vehicle emissions and other combustion sources are easily inhaled by individuals and as a result can stick within the lungs affecting human health (Auckland Council, 2012; MIFF, 2007), unfortunately the current population are causing these illnesses now and this will continue to effect younger generations following.
Extreme difficulties with respiratory illness can lead to cardiac arrest and potentially death. The Health and Air Pollution in New Zealand (2007) study found “each year, about 1, 100 people died prematurely from the exposure to urban air pollution” (METE, 2007, p. 1 58), Auckland population makes up around 300 of the premature deaths. (Auckland Council, 2012). Long term exposure to air pollution particularly to infants, adults 65 and over, asthmatics and people with other respiratory problems will be at greatest risk to premature death (Fisher et al.
, 2007).In Auckland the risk of mortality rates rise when there is an increase in NUN and IMO emissions, affecting those with respiratory diseases the highest. (Fisher et al. , 2007). Although the Auckland Council (2012) states IMP O and PM. 5 concentrations are only sometimes exceeding air quality targets, with IMP O particulates decreasing, PM. 5 remains somewhat stable (Auckland Council, 2012). Auckland Council (2012) indicates this is due to improvements in vehicle technology and with this better fuel standards, even with this reduction people are still continuing to inhale these pollutants.
As Auckland population grows, an increase in motor vehicles and home heating will undoubtedly increase. Mayor Len Brown notes Auckland population is set to grow around 50% in the next 30 years (news, 201 3) and with this information the Auckland Council has recently presented the Unitary plan draft with their ideas of making Auckland a better place by 2040. By 201 6 the Auckland Council’s target is to reduce IMO air pollutants by 50% and another 20% by 2040; this is to meet ambient air quality standards and guidelines internationally and nationally (Auckland Council, 2013).This could reduce the 3547 million that air pollution costs each year at present. (Auckland Council, 2013). Other strategies the central government has implemented to help reduce the impact of air quality in the environment and the health Of people is the Warm Homes project, this helps New Slanderer heat their homes more efficiently and cleanly.
Programmer and community workshops were implanted in 2006 and ran across New Zealand (MIFF, 2007). The government has promoted this by contributing $23 million in interest free loans to help encourage householders towards making their home energy efficient with cleaner heating options. 5. 4 million was set aside for low-income areas that had more poor air quality (MIFF, 2007).
To decrease vehicle emissions and improve health a number of sustainable transport options have been established. Walking school buses, where groups of families make rosters and elect adults to help children get to and from school within their communities. This helps decrease congestion and vehicle emissions (MIFF, 2007).
Another recognizes management strategy to decrease vehicle emissions in Auckland are the ‘park and ride’ bus stations.These stations were created in Auckland where commuters drive to the station, park for free and take the bus to the inner city. The Ministry for the Environment (2007) points out that more people were taking public transport with a 43% increase in Auckland, this lowers air pollution and traffic congestion (MIFF, 2007). There are 14 sites where monitoring of air quality is done, many within central Auckland and around four fixed sites in the rural areas Kumar, Rorer, Handbarrow and Pathogen (Auckland Council, 2012). The Auckland council has only proposed another two sites in the outer sessions of the Auckland airspeed, Potatoes and Wire.With an estimated increase of population of 50% within the next 30 years (news, 2013) people should expect the Government to extend these sites to outer rural regions to match the increase Of urban development and the likely increase Of vehicle and home heating emissions. This will help gain measurable data to help reduce poor air quality in Auckland and produce sustainable management strategies.
In conclusion, this essay has examined how people have impacted on the air quality of the Auckland region and from their actions how this in turn has effected their health.It is evident that causes of air pollution are the emissions of burning fossil fuels (wood and coal) and vehicle emissions. These emissions result in air pollutants that can lead to severe respiratory illnesses, cardiovascular diseases, and premature death.
The implications are clear: without sustainable and ongoing improvements of management strategies people and their environment will continually be affected by poor air quality. In order to prevent air pollution people need to be more aware of the relationship of air quality and their health. References Auckland Council. (2012).
State of Auckland air quality report card.