Air pollution was until recently regarded as a problem mainly for those whose health was already compromised or vulnerable in some way: the very old, the very young, and those with existing respiratory problems such as asthma. Thanks to groundbreaking research in the last few years, we now know the problem goes much further, to the root of human health: air pollution has been linked to miscarriage, dementia, heart disease and lower intelligence. There is scarcely an aspect of human health that is not affected by the silent insinuation of this invisible killer into our lungs, our blood, our brains and every other organ. Yet while the science has piled up, action has been slow. One reason is the diffuse nature of air pollution. There is no single cause, and some of the old sources – such as coal-fired power stations – have been phased out. Agriculture is an increasing source of air-polluting emissions and so, too, are the biomass-burners some people have turned to as a green … [Read more...] about UK failed to enforce EU air quality standards – what will happen after Brexit?
Breathe fresh air purifier manual
We think of the countryside as being a place of fresh air. Each weekend thousands of us leave our cities to hike or cycle in rural areas or simply to enjoy time in nature. Increasing attention is being given, however, to air pollution from farming. Ammonia from fertiliser and slurry mixes with air pollution from cities, traffic and industry to add to the particle pollution that plagues many parts of the world. It is estimated that halving ammonia from farming could avoid about 52,000 premature deaths from air pollution across Europe each year and 3,000 in the UK. Increasing attention is also being paid to bioaerosol from intensive farming. In animal houses these are tiny particles and dust from the animals themselves, their food, bedding and waste. They can also include fungi, bacteria and pollen. A recent review by Imperial College and Public Health England found evidence of respiratory problems in farm workers and raised concerns about exposure for people living close to intensive … [Read more...] about Pollutionwatch: how farming causes harm to rural air quality
The Lion Air plane that crashed in Indonesia in late October shortly after takeoff "was no longer airworthy and it should not have kept flying," investigators said on Wednesday. A preliminary report said that equipment failures and inadequate airline safety measures were contributing factors in the crash, but that it is still too early to pinpoint the exact cause. Information collected from the flight's "black box" data recorder shows that the pilots struggled to control the airplane as an automatic anti-stall safety system kept pushing the plane's nose down. "We still don't know yet, if it contributed or not," said Nurcahyo Utomo, an investigator at Indonesia's transport safety committee (KNKT). "It is too early to conclude for now." Problems known before crash On October 29, the Boeing 737 MAX disappeared from the radar 13 minutes into the flight and plunged into the Java Sea, killing all 189 people on board. The pilots on the previous … [Read more...] about Indonesia’s crashed Lion Air plane was not fit for flying
Campaigners, health charities and neighbourhood groups have welcomed plans by the London mayor, Sadiq Khan, to more than double funding to clean up the capital’s dirty air. London is one of the most polluted of dozens of cities in the UK that breach EU standards on nitrogen dioxide (NO2), a toxic gas caused by diesel vehicles. Air pollution has been linked to nearly 9,500 premature deaths in the city each year. Funding for air quality measures over the next five years will be more than doubled to £875m, under plans announced on Wednesday, up from the £425m committed under the former mayor Boris Johnson. If approved at a Transport for London board meeting next week, most of the money – £312m – will be spent on cleaning up TfL’s 9,300-strong bus fleet. A further £65m will be used to compensate and encourage taxi drivers to switch from the oldest black cabs – those more than 10 years old – to new ones capable of zero emissions, … [Read more...] about London mayor to double funding to tackle air pollution
Ammonia and nitrogen pollution, mostly from farms, is harming more than 60% of the UK’s land area and hitting the most sensitive habitats for plants and wildlife hardest, a government report has found, despite there being no clear plans to monitor or reduce its impact. More than 85% of England’s total land area receives ammonia concentrations above the critical level set to protect lichens, mosses, liverworts and similar plants – keystone species that are vital to ecosystems – while Northern Ireland is even worse, at 88%. Just over half the land in Wales is affected, and less than a fifth of Scotland. When sites that are particularly sensitive are considered, including special areas of conservation, special protected areas, and sites of special scientific interest, England is worst hit, according to a study from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), with 95% of sites overloaded with the pollutants. In Wales and Northern Ireland 89% and … [Read more...] about Ammonia pollution damaging more than 60% of UK land – report