Low emission zones improve London air, but not enough

15 Nov, 2018 9:54 am

LONDON (Reuters) – London’s low emission traffic zone has modestly reduced residents’ exposure to diesel engine pollution, but the better air quality has not brought improved lung health among the capital’s children, research found on Wednesday.

The results suggest that while air pollution levels may be reduced by low emission zones that are now in place in around 200 cities across Europe, extra measures are needed to deliver air clean enough to improve health.

The World Health Organization says outdoor air pollution is linked to 3.7 million premature deaths a year globally. In Europe, where more than half of new cars are diesel-fuelled, nitrogen oxide – which has been linked to asthma and impaired lung development in children – has become a major problem.

Low emission zones are seen as a way to tackle traffic pollution and there are now around 200 in operation across Europe. London introduced the world’s largest citywide low emission zone in stages during 2008 and 2012, requiring diesel vehicles entering Greater London to meet certain emission standards or pay daily charges.




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