In small, nitrogen oxides are toxic gases produced under high pressure in the engine by combining nitrogen and oxygen.
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NOx may cause myriad adverse effects to the environment and human health, and derivatives of the family of nitrogen oxides include nitrogen dioxide, nitric acid, nitrous oxide, nitrates, and nitric oxide.
NOx has been linked to smog and acid rain which harm plant and animal life; the land and the water.
It can travel hundreds of miles on the winds, and acid hurt surfaces it comes in contact with, including to buildings, cars, monuments, and more.
Ahead of schedule morning emissions in London. © Simon Birkett 2014.
As for smog, this is not desirable anywhere, but California has long raised a flag against any threat to its air quality. Its Air Resources Board once got its charter in generous part because of dense blankets of smog that characterized its regions.
Authorities in the U.S. and Europe are still combating NOx which comes predominantly from human technologies such as the engines that drive vehicles and
In the air, NOx may form nitric acid and related particles by reacting with ammonia, moisture, or other compounds.
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It can sully and deteriorate water quality in lakes and streams and mass by nitrogen loading.
The Chesapeake Bay is now under siege by nitrogen pollution, as one example. A condition leading to oxygen reduction called eutrophication can diminish the population of fish and shelfish.
Last but not least, NOx is a greenhouse gas, leading to global warming and climate change.
NOx is made up of nitric oxide (NO) and poisonous nitrogen dioxide (NO2) in less vital quantities.
In the atmosphere, NOx reacts with organic compounds and ozone.
It has been linked to childhood asthma, as well as asthma in all ages. Asthma from the environment can be like a stimulus-response event. A “trigger” including smog can induce a person’s lungs to go into spasms which has been conditioned to be more sensitive in the asthmatic.
Other issues may include loss of appetite, pointed tooth corrosion, genetic mutations, vision impairment or eye irritation, and headaches.
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Obviously different public react differently with varying levels of tolerance. Public living in clustered areas, such as cities and near highways are more susceptible because of the higher concentrations of the exhaust of internal combustion vehicles.
NOx emissions are a byproduct
Today most diesel passenger vehicle manufacturers use urea injection – also known as diesel exhaust fluid – to reduce NOx to legal levels set by the EPA’s tier 2, bin 5 standards.
Authorities take NOx so seriously, this diesel exhaust fluid – filled in this area the same intervals as an oil change – must always be maintained and present in the vehicle. If a car or truck runs out, it goes into a severely handicapped limp-home mode.
Its cars also performed like champs, beating the EPA mpg oftentimes with stump-pulling torque, all while touted as “green.”
Ironically Volkswagen’s issues came to a head just when it had rolled out 2.0-liter diesel engines this model year with urea injection that might have let them make the grade.
The 2009-2014 EA188/189 U.S./EU spec engines in inquiry are for now the only named culprit, though the new EA288 in 2015 Golf, Jetta, Passat, Insect, and Audi A3 models was also culled.
Apparently the “defeat device” was left
A fix for VW’s NOx problem has yet to be announced.
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