Air Pollution in the Brazilian Road Transport and Its Environmental and Social Consequences


The use of fossil fuels has been greatly increased since the eighteenth century with advent of the industrial revolution. Currently, the use of these fuels is responsible for, on average, 80% of energy generation in human society, producing large emission of pollutant gases and particulate material. Thus the transport sector is a major source of air pollution worldwide. This issue causes serious damages to the environment through phenomena such as acid rain, global warming and photochemical smog. Moreover, the emission of pollutants is also related to damages in human health. Brazil is a country with great territorial dimensions and its transport array is eminently by road, so it is a major consumer of fossil fuels, such as diesel, which has been producing serious environmental and social problems. Thus, this paper presents an analysis of the emission of gaseous pollutants and particulate matter from the transport sector (buses and trucks), gaseous pollutants such as NO2 and SO2 were detected in ppmv concentrations using electrochemical sensors. The composition constituents of the particulate materials emitted in diesel combustion and their respective concentrations were determined by X rays fluorescence spectrometry (XRF). The identified elements were: S, Fe, Si, Ca, Zn, P, Ni, Cr, Ti, Mn and Cu.

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Mothé, G. , Sthel, M. , Castro, M. , Toledo, R. , Stumbo, A. , Gomes, M. , Esquef, I. and Vargas, H. (2014) Air Pollution in the Brazilian Road Transport and Its Environmental and Social Consequences. Journal of Environmental Protection, 5, 1466-1476. doi: 10.4236/jep.2014.515139.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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