At ground level, a gas known as ozone is directly related to asthma and other respiratory diseases, making it even more difficult to breathe for those suffering from these diseases. Ozone will be higher in areas that are heavily populated and have more cars such as cities. Other particles found in things such as smoke can also pass into our bodies also making it difficult to breathe.
Air pollution can either be created by us or it can occur naturally however, it can be hazardous for us to breathe.
Another gas known as carbon monoxide (CO) can be deadly if inhaled in large amounts such as running a car in an enclosed area i.e., the garage or having a blockage in the tail pipe which can lead to suffocation or unconsciousness. This is not to be confused with carbon dioxide (CO2) which is what we expel from our bodies when exhaling. Carbon dioxide affects our respiratory system whereas carbon monoxide will not only affect our respiratory system but the central nervous system, lungs, and blood as well. When breathing in carbon monoxide, it affects oxygen in the blood which has a domino effect on the rest of our organs. A motorcyclist will breathe in carbon monoxide from exhaust fumes from the cars around them. Motorcyclists will also inhale other types of debris left behind from the cars passing by such as oil, coolant, and windshield washer fluid. Not something we riders want to be exposed to and willingly allow into our bodies.
When sitting in traffic, fumes can become overwhelming and being exposed to air pollution in areas that are very high can irritate open passageways of the body such as our eyes, throat, and nose.
Breathing in pollution can weaken the immune system and over prolonged periods of time, some chronic diseases may develop. It is best to have some type of ventilation to protect yourself as riders so we are not being exposed to direct pollutants and can safely enjoy many rides in the future.
There are ways to protect yourself. Have you seen our article on Respro masks
Article By Cassandra Carillo