Nearly 50% of transport pollution deaths linked to diesel: study

February 27, 2019
Diesel vehicles were responsible for 47 percent of the deaths, a study said, but the figure jumped as high as 66 percent in France, Germany, Italy and India where diesels make up a large proportion of cars on the road

Some 385,000 people worldwide died prematurely in 2015 from air pollution caused by vehicle exhaust emissions, a US study found Wednesday, which singled out diesel engines as the main culprit.

Diesel vehicles were responsible for 47 percent of the deaths, it said, but the figure jumped as high as 66 percent in France, Germany, Italy and India where diesels make up a large proportion of cars on the road.

The study was carried out by researchers from the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT)—the non-governmental group that blew the whistle on Volkswagen's "dieselgate" emissions cheating scandal in 2015—and two US universities.

"The high public health burden of in Europe underscores the need for world-class emissions standards to be accompanied by robust compliance and enforcement," said ICCT co-author Joshua Miller, calling for urgent action to replace high-emissions vehicles.

In the wide-ranging study, researchers looked at the emissions from diesel and non- cars, trucks, buses, the as well as agricultural and construction machinery and their impact on our health.

They found that the global transportation sector was responsible for 11 percent of the 3.4 million premature deaths annually attributed to pollution from fine particles (PM2.5) and ground-level ozone exposure.

The cost of the health burden caused by transport pollution, which has been linked to lung and heart diseases, strokes and diabetes, added up to $1 trillion (880 billion euros) in 2015, they said.

Premature deaths attributed to transportation-linked emissions in G20 countries, 2105

In China alone, some 114,000 people were killed by vehicle exhausts that year, but that still only accounted for just over 10 percent of all deaths linked to air pollution there.

The United States saw 22,000 deaths from transport pollution, of which 43 percent were linked to diesels.

India meanwhile recorded 74,000 premature deaths from vehicle exhausts, compared with 13,000 in Germany, 7,800 in Italy and 6,400 in France.

Relatively speaking however, the picture was worst in Germany with 17 premature deaths blamed on transport pollution per 100,000 residents—three times higher than the global average.

Milan, Turin, Stuttgart, Kiev, Cologne, Berlin and London were among the deadliest cities in terms of transport pollution, the researchers noted.

The authors cautioned that their estimates were "conservative" as their study did not take into account all types of harmful emissions or -linked diseases.

"Consideration of these impacts would likely increase the estimate of health impacts from exhaust emissions," they warned.

Explore further: 5,000 'Dieselgate' deaths in Europe per year: study

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1 / 5 (3) Feb 27, 2019
If diesel exhaust fumes were toxic then there should be a cluster of excess death risk in submariners, and that should correlate with the particular equipment and arrangement.
1.7 / 5 (6) Feb 27, 2019
The authors cautioned that their estimates were "conservative" as their study did not take into account all types of harmful emissions or pollution-linked diseases.

Note that these figures are not actual countable deaths. They estimates presented as if they were actual deaths.

Much of what is accepted as real today is not actually countable or measurable. Estimates in these cases are just someone's guesses. Yet they are presented and used as if they were scientifically valid.
4 / 5 (1) Feb 27, 2019
The EU has been big on using their taxing authority to shape human behavior, yet most all have higher gasoline taxes per liter than they do on diesel fuel. Could it be government chose the wrong horse early on and now that consumers and industry are neck-deep in that bet, they haven't the political courage to fix the problem? Duh!
1 / 5 (3) Feb 27, 2019
Show me a death certificate that shows diesel exhaust as a cause of death. This is just speculation. They put together numbers as if it is fact but it's just theory and guess work.
not rated yet Feb 28, 2019
The preceeding commentators, A bunch of little boys whistling their way through the graveyard.
Loudly boasting as they past between the gravestones.
"I ain;t afraid of no spooks!"

Just to distract themselves from the reality of death all around them.
If the image wasn't so funny, it'd be a pathetic commentary on their inability to comprehend the Scientific Method.

Oh & doug, I will presume you are a taxpayer. Neither you nor I have access to the collected actuarial tables for the various occupations of 20th Century U.S. Military causes of death.

Or for that matter, supporting occupations such as Nuclear Engineer, Radar & other Radio Electronics Technicians, & so on.

I suppose you could try to file an FIA but I doubt if anyone is going to thank you for embarrassing Patriot politicians & wealthy Corporate Executives.

An interesting corollary of this research, is to compare a graph of lead in gasoline against a graph of murder rates.
5 / 5 (2) Feb 28, 2019
If diesel exhaust fumes were toxic then there should be a cluster of excess death risk in submariners,

No, because;

1, diesel exhaust fumes from diesel driven submarines aren't stupidly made to exit directly into the interior of the submarine into the submariners work place but rather exit OUTSIDE it.

2, many submariners work in nuclear submarines which give out NO diesel exhausts, not even outside.

As its obviously a scientific fact that diesel exhaust fumes from combustion (but not fuel cells), just like that from coal petrol etc ARE toxic, not sure what point you are trying to make here.
Surely you don't claim they are non-toxic!? right?

not rated yet Feb 28, 2019
There are legitimate questions with the many underlying and inter-related assumptions, models & numerous estimates that form the basis of the conclusions of the ICCT/CCAC report particularly, the ability and precision to draw sharp and specific conclusions that isolate and assign specific health-impact outcomes to specific sectors, equipment and emissions types across multiple continents. The report includes no observational data, actual emissions measurements or vehicle testing results to validate its various assumptions.

Tremendous progress has been made in virtually eliminating criteria emissions and fine particulates from today's generation of diesel engines thanks to the use active selective catalytic reduction (SCR) systems utilizing Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF) as a catalyst and diesel particulate filters; NOx emissions are reduced by up to 90%, PM emissions over 95%.
not rated yet Feb 28, 2019
oh hunny, I wish you hadn't asked doug that last question.
Now he will inundate us with testimonials as to why diesel & other petrochemical fumes are a breath of fresh air when he inhales.

thorium boy makes the same claim that radioactive salts on our food are nutritious.

You are correct about diesel powered submarines. They were run on the surface at night to charge up the batteries for running submerged in daylight.

If I remember correctly, a bunch of u-boats loitering on the surface in daylight, near the Azores, were caught by USN aircraft from fast carriers .

These days of course,diesel subs are obsolete, night or day to spy-sats & infrared weapon systems. But they are cheap & can be run by ill-educated, poorly-trained, well indoctrinated disposable sailors.

Use once & die weapon for the Russian & North Korean Naval Doctrine of Spasm Warfare. Plus killing those subs will use up enemy resources that could have been more profitably directed.
not rated yet Feb 28, 2019
DRF, just a minor quibble.
Why are you pretending that the diesel industry would have made any effort to do all these wonderful things? To invest in efficient technology & making any effort to control & reduce wastage & pollution?

Without being goaded by the tree-hugging environmentalists.
Scientifically defined regulations.
The US Military demanding substantial increases in battle-field survivability & logistical endurance.
Congressional; shills for obsolete industries being voted out of office over all their sordid acts of corruption.

To quote myself:
"Conservative" is an action of accepting responsibility.

"Conservative" is a pathetic excuse for an irresponsible evangelical-political slogan.

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