|Posted on May 29, 2019 at 12:35 PM|
The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) annually organises events for World Environment Day (5 June), which encourage worldwide awareness and action to protect our environment. It is organised around a theme that draws attention to a particularly pressing environmental concern. The theme for 2019 is AIR POLLUTION.
Vehicles play an important role in modern life. They, however, also generate hazardous air pollution emissions.
Motorcyclists in urban areas, occupational motorcycle taxi and delivery riders (especially in African settings) are in long-term contact with harmful emissions, which sets these individuals in a susceptible group to air pollutant damage. Studies suggest that professional motorcyclists are at high risk due to long-term air pollution exposure, which implies in the onset of several harmful effects.
As individuals, we have limited control over our own exposures. In the end, we need systemic, societal changes to make cities safer and healthier, including stricter controls of vehicle emissions, increased use of electric vehicles and improved public transportation.
As motorcyclists there are however a few basic precautions that you may consider to reduce your exposures and to protect your health:
KNOW WHEN TO STAY INSIDE
If possible, refraining from outdoor leisure motorcycling activities on heavily polluted days. It is the most common piece of advice when it comes to avoiding the effects of air pollution
USE APPS TO AVOID HIGH POLLUTION ROUTES
Levels of pollution change just as quickly as the weather, so there are a number of downloadable apps that tells you when the pollution level is high and is able to give you tailored advice to reduce both your emissions and your exposure to pollution. It can also assist you in finding alternate routes where you will be less exposed to polluted air.
PROTECT YOUR SKIN
Apply sunscreen and moisturizer, and repeat every time you spend a prolonged period outdoors. Take a shower as soon as you can after a day of motorcycling, thereby protecting your skin and your lungs from air pollution and particulates that may have settled in your clothes, on your skin or in your hair.
LEARN FACE MASK BASICS
A proper air-filtering face mask can be your best friend when riding and when air quality is low. Although you can find disposable face masks at pharmacies in most cities, it is advisable use the type of masks recommended by medical professionals.
UNEP is also calling on everyone to join the Mask Challenge. Face masks are a great symbol to show leaders we want to breathe clean air. Alongside celebrities, influencers and creators, this World Environment Day initiative is also an ideal opportunity for motorcyclists to support.
The following link provides more detail:
Finally, we all can also take advice by implementing the following proposals to reduce our daily impact on ambient air pollution levels:
Observe the speed limit, as this influences fuel economy. Avoid aggressive driving, such as hard acceleration and braking. Avoid excess idling and revving of your motorcycle. Regular tune-ups and maintenance checks. Keep tyres properly inflated. Consider the use of alternative vehicle technologies or fuel sources.
Categories: FIM Africa News, Environmental News
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