Log in | Subscribe | RSS feed

What’s New

World Medical Association calls for more stringent diesel emission standards

27 October 2014

The annual General Assembly of the World Medical Association (WMA), held in Durban, South Africa from 8 to 11 October, adopted a new statement calling for the introduction of more stringent emission standards for all new diesel vehicles to limit the concentration of soot particles in the air.

The statement recognizes the hazardous character of ultra-fine particle (UFP) pollution and calls for the introduction of emission standards that would force the use of best available technology (BAT) particulate filters on all new and in-use diesel engines.

The WMA has recommended in the statement that all national medical associations should encourage their respective governments to:

  1. Introduce BAT standards—based on UFP number emissions rather than mass—for all new diesel vehicles (on road and off-road)
  2. Incentivize retrofitting with BAT filters for all in-use engines
  3. Monitor and limit the concentration of nanosize soot particles in the urban breathing air
  4. Conduct epidemiological studies detecting and differentiating the health effects of ultrafine particles
  5. Build professional and public awareness of the importance of diesel soot and the existing methods of eliminating the particles
  6. Contribute to developing strategies to protect people from soot particles in aircraft passenger cabins, trains, homes and in the general environment. These strategies should include plans to develop and increase use of public transportation systems.

Air pollution impacts on the quality of life for hundreds of millions of people worldwide—said the WMA—causing both a large burden of disease as well as economic losses and increased health care costs. According to WHO estimates, in 2012, urban outdoor air pollution was responsible for 3.7 million annual deaths, representing 6.7% of the total deaths.

Source: World Medical Association