Nitrogen oxide KILLS: The impact that diesel vehicles are having on the environment and our public health
Many of us love driving, but what people may not see and or realise is the mammoth impact that diesel vehicles are having on the environment and our health!
Nitrogen oxide (NOx) is produced in the emissions of diesel vehicles and it’s increasingly damaging to human health and the environment. NOx can linger in the earth’s atmosphere for over 100 years and can get trapped between buildings in inner city areas, and can have a global warming impact that may be up to 300 times more than Carbon Dioxide.
That’s why NOx emissions from vehicles are heavily regulated and why the Volkswagen Emissions Scandal is far worse than many people may think.
The health impact
Although NOx is naturally produced by the earth, excessive amounts of NOx coming from diesel vehicles can cause smog and acid rain and contribute massively to global warming. But NOx is also known to have a massive impact on human health as it can irritate the lungs and do serious damage to human health. After attending a conference in Brussels in September 2016, a representative of the Car Emissions Lawyers was appalled when an expert on the panel stated that, in the two-hour duration the conference had reached at that point, 16 people had already died from Nitrogen Oxide related problems.
The room was understandably stunned to silence.
A recent report carried out by the Royal College of Physicians and the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child health found that “every year in the U.K., outdoor pollution is linked to around 40,00 deaths”, and this in turn can cost the NHS nearly £20 billion a year; a staggering 16% of the NHS annual budget.
Once again this shows just how bad the Volkswagen Emissions Scandal really is. It’s much more than owners being misled in our view; there is a far wider impact.
Diesel: no longer the future?
If you purchased a car 15 years ago, you may have been told that diesel is the future. Sales of diesel cars have grown healthily over the past decade and a half since the government at the time backed them as environmentally friendly, and it wasn’t long ago when the government were offering tax incentives to persuade drivers to buy diesel cars, believing that a move away from petrol was the key to cutting CO2 emissions.
Sir David King who was chief scientific adviser to former Prime Minister Gordon Brown said:
“The car manufacturers have been seriously misleading us by using the test system to get past the European standards. Frankly, NOx levels in our cities are dangerous to human health and this has to be put at the door of car manufacturers. This is a global problem and it has taken a long while for us to realise what the manufacturers were doing.”
As previously mentioned, there are statistically more than 40,000 premature deaths caused by NOx, and 9,000 of these statistically happen in London alone. This has led to the introduction of the world’s first Ultra-Low Emissions Zone (ULEZ) by 2019 in London which could mean that, unless your vehicle meets emissions standards, you may have to pay a daily charge of £21.50 for travelling in some central areas of London.
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