A Silent Killer in the U.K.?

Discussion in 'The Science Forum' started by alib, Apr 27, 2012.

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  1. On Freakanomics Traffic Pollution: A Silent Killer in the U.K.?
    This of course is no reason to stop revving your big Kraut SUVs at the traffic lights, you are probably only bumping off the irritatingly wheezy bed blockers (some of them French) and think of my bulging hydrocarbon portfolio.
  2. An awful lot of 'estimations' there. I smell shite.
  3. I,ve been thinking this for years. *** Tin foil hat on*** Tobacco being made a scapegoat for the oil companys ? *** Tin foil hat off *** .

    • Like Like x 3
  4. Oil companies can do no wrong, it would be like a Blue Peter presenter indulging in deviant sex.
  5. Vaguer than a big bag of vague things.
    There's a confusion between gas and particulate, UK and foreign, and traffic and other sources.
    Public Health Impacts of Combustion Emissions in the United Kingdom - Environmental Science & Technology (ACS Publications)

    "We estimate the uncertainty in premature mortality calculations at −80% to +50%, where results have been corrected by a low modeling bias of 28%. The total monetized life loss in the UK is estimated at £6–62bn/year or 0.4–3.5% of gross domestic product."

    Them's some pretty large variances!
  6. "£6–62bn/year" in real money that's 150% of the defense budget, or how much Jarrod spends on skincare.
  7. ancienturion

    ancienturion LE Book Reviewer

    You're OK inside the car anyway because the air conditioning filter protects you.
  8. Poor air quality reduces the life expectancy of everyone in the UK by an average of seven to eight months and up to 50,000 people a year may die prematurely because of it. Air pollution also causes significant damage to ecosystems. Despite these facts being known air quality is not seen as a priority across government and the UK is failing to meet a range of domestic and European targets.

    2. Industry and road transport are the main sources of air pollution, though domestic combustion and agriculture are also to blame. Industry is a major source of emissions of NOX (46%) and PM10 (36%). Road transport contributes to significant emissions of NO2 (30%) and PM10 (18%). Emissions and exposure vary greatly depending on location. Although polluting, the majority of large combustion plants are located away from major urban centres. Road transport contributes far more to the public’s exposure to pollutants and is responsible for up to 70% of air pollution in urban areas.

    Taken from:

    Amazing what I have to write essays on.
  9. Well, let's just say that Govt is AWARE of its obligations under those pesky intrusive EU regulations that are trying to stop us choking on our own filth-The interfering bastards!
    UK and EU Air Quality Limits - Defra, UK

    The only problem is that we in the UK are having trouble following these guidelines-especially in London.Which won't stop us getting 'infracted' (fined) by the EU for gassing ourselves in our own capital. NOx compounds are a particular problem.

    Extract from recent Hansard 26 March 2012. House of Commons Hansard Written Answers for 26 Mar 2012 (pt 0001)

    "Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

    Air Pollution

    Mr Bradshaw: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment she has made of when the UK will be fully compliant with EU requirements on air quality; and what steps she is taking to ensure such compliance. [100475]

    Richard Benyon: The UK is currently compliant with EU requirements for particulate matter (PM10) in all areas except London. Compliance in London was expected in 2011 and the Government have submitted an update to the European Commission on the measures being taken to help ensure compliance is achieved. This update is publicly available on the DEFRA website.

    Meeting EU requirements for nitrogen dioxide is challenging for the UK and many EU member states. In September 2011, the Government submitted air quality plans to the European Commission outlining how EU limits for nitrogen dioxide will be met as soon as possible. These plans are publicly available on the UK Air website.

    The UK meets EU limit values currently in force for other air pollutants."

    Some additional details here:
  10. Or taking drugs or having a bastard (but fit later in life) baby.

    I tried to be a silent killer in the uk but I keep talking myself through it...
  11. Note the recommendation to invest in public transport. Ignoring the facts that private cars are only a small part of traffic pollution and public transport is polluting. Incidentally look at the picture in the article, 2 vans and a taxi, the taxi is public transport and the vans are carrying goods that would not go by public transport.
  12. I don't think a taxi is 'public' transport... it is a private contract. There may only be one person in the taxi. A bu on the other hand.
  13. This article is a classic of misconstruction and misintepretation. It also fails to recognise 'absolute' versus 'relative' levels.
    Yes, people die from air pollution. But they will die of something anyway. There are correlations between air pollution in urban areas (often due to the 'urban island' effect where big cities develop their own mini-meterology.

    There is also 'pollution swapping'- new technologies come in, new pollutants displace old ones.

    Fifty-sixty years ago (my Dad's time) London used to be known for 'smog'- Filthy fogs full of coal smoke. They killed thousands. Then, coal was phased out. When I was young, I used to go to London and I would sneeze black for days, because of the filthy old Diesel vehicles.
    Now, I work there. It's vastly cleaner than it was, but the pollution is now less visible-small particulates and invisible gases.

    'Absolute' pollution is way down- 'Relative' to other places, its still high. On the other hand, its still cleaner than a lot of other big cities.
  14. I will give you is is a debatable case, however:

    There have been several times I was the only passenger in a bus and at least once I was the only passenger in a train; does that mean they were not public transport?

    Conversely what about group hire of taxis, such as soldiers getting transport from the camp to the local town?

    Also taxis do not pay the London congestion charge, like buses.
  15. Well they should...

    It is strictly one journey a - b. Even a group of squadies are a 'group' going from a - b. (admitedly some people then go o C).

    A bus on the other hand, picks up individuals and takesn them from a - b, c,d, e, f as neccesary...

    To me a Taxi is a the hiring of a private car and driver. Bit like going to hertz.