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Main air pollutants and their effects for human health

  • The emissions released by our automobiles equipped with combustion engines can be divided in to big categories, the ones consider harmful for human health and the ones consider non harmful. In this last category we can include the Water vapor (H2O), the carbon dioxide (CO2) and the molecular nitrogen (N2) all of them consider non harmful gases for human health in normal circumstances.
  • At the group of harmful emissions  we can       

     - Carbon monoxide (CO)
     - Unburned Hydro Carbons (HC)
     - Nitrogen oxides (NOx)
     - Particulate matter (PM) 
     - Acoustic contamination


Carbon monoxide (CO) and unburned hydrocarbons (HC)

  • Carbon Monoxide (CO) is one of the most toxic substances we can come into contact with in our daily life. You cannot smell it, see it or taste it, but it could be in the air now.
  • CO is captured by the hemoglobin of the blood in our lungs preventing its function of transporting oxygen. If we breathe CO in concentrations of only 0.3 % during a period of 30 minutes it can cause death due to the lack of oxygen in our cells. CO is formed due to a rich air to fuel mixture in the combustion chamber.
  • Unburned Hydrocarbons (HC) emissions are those fuel particles which remain without burning in exhaust gases. These emissions are one of the main components of smog present in big cities. It is very important to realize that these unburned fuel pollutants are proven to be dangerous to human health, and even highly carcinogenic.         
Walker® solution: The new and more effective oxidizing catalytic converters transform the harmful CO and HC, that remain after the combustion process in the cylinders, into CO2 and water.  

Diesel Emissions and Particulate Matter (PM)

  • Attached to the carbon particles that travel with diesel exhaust gases, we can find other hazardous chemical substances from the diesel composition, as 3-Nitrobenzatrone,  (the most carcinogenic compound ever created), that are  directly linked to a high increase in lung cancer in congested cities.(1)
  • Recent studies demonstrate that diesel emissions produce changes in heart activity, and the relationship between arteriosclerosis, thrombosis and the inhalation of solid particulate matter (smaller than 2.5 microns) is proven.(2)

(1) Source: National Institute of Public Health of Tokyo
(2) Source: New England Medical Journal

Walker® solution: Walker® has been working for years with the design of more efficient oxidizing catalytic converters and Diesel Particulate Filters (DPF) obtaining over 98 % efficiency in eliminating dangerous particulate matter.

Nitrogen oxide (NOx) and acid rain

  • In conditions of extreme heat and pressure in the combustion chamber, part of nitrogen molecules combined with air become nitrogen oxides. Nitrogen oxides combined with water generate acid, which, together with sulfur acids, is the main contributor to the phenomenon of acid rain. Acid rain causes the acidification of lakes and streams, and contributes to the damage caused to trees at high elevations, and many of our sensitive forest soils.
  • Many scientific studies have identified a relationship between elevated levels of fine oxide particles (like NOx), and increased illnesses, and premature death from heart and lung disorders, such as asthma and bronchitis.
Walker® solution: Millions of 3-way catalytic converters have been delivered by Walker® in the Original Equipment and Aftermarket helping to decrease the NOx levels in petrol cars. For diesel cars, a new line of products, like SCR and NOx trap catalytic converters have been developed in order to decrease those harmful gases to the mini.

The Acoustic Contamination

  • Acoustic contamination is provoked by human activities, including traffic. High noise levels produce negative effects on auditory, physical and mental health. Noise level above 50 dB is harmful. (3)

(3) Source: World Health Organization (WHO)

Walker® solution: By using Walker® homologated exhaust systems, users can ensure that their vehicle will have controlled noise levels, and thus contribute to a quieter and healthier environment.