7: Stop the Killing from Lung, Heart and other Diseases caused by vehicular pollutants

Make it mandatory for particulate filters that meet latest EU emission standards to be fitted to all existing buses, lorries and taxis.

The numbers dying from air pollution dwarfs the numbers in collissions, with a staggering 29’000 estimated to have died in the UK last year [1]. Air pollution is also linked to heart attacks, cancer and stunted lung development among children growing up near busy roads and in cities. The UK government has been in breach of EU rules for over 13 years and is planning to keep air pollution at illegal levels for at least a further decade [2].

The impact on human health is primarily due to particulates for which there are no safe limits. These particulates can stay in the lungs and reduce lung capacity permanently. Diesel engines are a particular problem and emit over 20 times more particulate matter than the equivalent petrol engine, and 4 times the NOx.

This failure to act in the face of the harm caused is not acceptable, we need:

  • Particulate filters to be fitted to all existing buses, lorries and taxis NOW.
  • A programme to make all taxis and public sector vehicles in cities zero emission by 2018.
  • A shift from car use to cycling & walking and conversion to electric cars.
  • Limits on lorries in city centres.


[1] http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/apr/02/toxic-truth-air-pollution-lethal-scandal-saharan-smog

[2] http://www.clientearth.org/201402202454/news/press-releases/eu-targets-uk-over-illegal-traffic-pollution-2454

Also see:
Newer diesel cars emitting more NO2, study finds (Air Quality News, 24 May 2013)

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