Friday, September 14, 2012

Diesel soon forbidden in Europe ? (Liberation)

Liberation, a famous French newspaper, titles this today: " Should diesel be forbidden ? "

Liberation first page title this morning 

My country, France, champion of diesel powered cars, is slowly realizing that diesel is bad for health now that World Health Organization (WHO) has realeased a document saying that diesel exhausts are carcinogenic

Diesel exhaust carcinogenic

Mark Edwards HardRain Collection
The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classifies diesel engine exhaust as carcinogenic in humans. The statement followed a week-long meeting in Lyon, France, in early June.
Concern about the carcinogenic potential of diesel exhaust comes mostly from epidemiological studies of worker exposure. A large study conducted jointly by the US National Cancer Institute and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health published in 2012 showed an increased risk of death from lung cancer among underground miners exposed to diesel fumes.
Diesel combustion produces many more particles per unit volume of air than gasoline combustion, and the higher the particle concentration in ambient air, the greater the risk of lung and heart disease. Air pollution causes a large disease burden and approximately 1.3 million deaths a year in cities with more than 100 000 inhabitants. Diesel also generates potent short-acting pollutants linked with climate change.

Jean-Marie Le Guen, Socialist MP and Deputy Mayor of Paris in charge of health.

(Interview by By ERIC FAVEREAU)
Jean-Marie Le Guen, Socialist MP, MD, is Deputy Mayor of Paris in charge of health. For years, he fought for new public health plans.

You ask the prohibition of diesel in Paris as well as in big cities ...

Yes, and we have no choice. It is a ban programmed with a delay, so that everyone can prepare a decision that is unavoidable.

What led you to ask this prohibition?

The results of all scientific investigations leave no doubt: it is no longer a hypothesis, it is a certainty. Links between the microparticles and the occurrence of cancer has been demonstrated, proven and calculated. The situation in France is worrying. Because, especially in Paris, the circulating levels of these microparticles are superior to European standards. If we let our country will soon be sentenced for non-compliance with these standards. The ban on diesel in large cities is not only a health and moral imperative, but it is also a political and legal.

Such a ban can not be implemented overnight ...

Obviously, it will take time. First, we must organize answers user groups: artisans, taxis, professionals must ... with each of them organize their transfer will complete this transition to ecomobility their fleet. Specific plans may be made to, I think, people on low incomes who have diesel vehicles. An overall must be created to organize the transition to other forms of engines, including taking into account the renewal of our automotive, diesel also sick.

How to engage the government ban, which allowed them the rise of diesel?

There is no choice. There is no lasting solution to the maintenance of the priority date diesel granted. There are hundreds of deaths that could be avoided (see cons below). We can not continue this policy of the ostrich and continue on this short-term cost us so dearly in the automotive industry. We need to build tomorrow's vehicles.

What steps, then, for this transition?

A schedule is required. I suggest a three-year perspective, which could be modulated by the nature of the users. For the administration, for the fleet business, it could be shorter, so as to accelerate the conversion to electric cars. For individuals, the deadline could be extended in order to support the market maturity. But we must set a clear perspective of prohibition and a calendar.

This issue of diesel Will it be addressed in the environmental conference?

I think, I hope.

Have you discussed with the Mayor of Paris?

I made my arguments prevail as an assistant in charge of health, but the mayor is on other priorities, such as speed.

And the Minister of Ecology?

No comment. And that intrigues me. For my certainty today is that environmental health can no longer be the adjustment variable of public policy. Because if that is the case, the disaster is assured.

(Translated with Google Translate)

Diesel cars and trucks could be forbidden in big cities, starting with Paris ... 

Source: Liberation

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