New evidence reviewed by the EEA or European Environment Agency suggests a link between air pollution and cancer cases. The agency said that 10% of the cases are largely caused by exposure to ultraviolet radiation, radon, carcinogenic chemicals, second-hand smoke, and air pollution.
Every year, approximately 2.7 million individuals in the European Union are given a cancer diagnosis. Over one million of these cases end up in death. One percent of Europe’s cancer cases are linked to air pollution. Of the total number of cancer deaths, two percent are caused by air pollution.
Despite what the report revealed, EU authorities are still positive that the environmental risks can be reduced or eliminated, which means the number of cancer cases can decrease. Some things can be done to bring down pollution levels, protect people’s health, and prevent premature deaths. Since governments are working toward a zero-emissions-zero-pollution Europe, coming up with ways to block toxic pollutants should be a priority.
Governments, agencies, organisations, and communities should be committed to working for the good of nature, not against it.
The European Union’s action plan
The EU has a program known as the Beating Cancer Plan, which focuses on the risks that air pollution and other environmental issues have on cancer and the lives of those afflicted with the disease. This is one of the reasons why the Zero Pollution Action Plan was created.
Intended to bring down water and air pollution levels, the action plan is focused on protecting humans from the impacts of environmental pollution by reducing their exposure to such elements. Europe also has air quality standards set by the NEC or National Emissions reduction Commitments Directive and the Ambient Air Quality Directives. They have initiated action on improving ambient air quality directives using the World Health Organization’s (WHO) air quality guidelines.
The Zero Pollution Action Plan’s three major concerns are to improve:
- Water quality (for waste reduction)
- Air quality (to lower premature death cases)
- Soil (reduction of chemical pesticide use and nutrient losses)
EU authorities hope to set the plan into action by the year 2050.
Across Europe and the UK, diesel emissions are a big issue. This started after the Volkswagen Dieselgate scandal in 2015, when US authorities allegedly found defeat devices installed in Audi and VW diesel vehicles that were sold to customers in the United States. A defeat device is used to detect when a vehicle is in regulatory testing so that it can artificially bring down emissions to levels that are within the WHO-mandated limits.
Once the vehicle is out of the lab and driven on real roads, however, the vehicle switches back to its default settings so its emissions are way out of bounds. It releases vast amounts of nitrogen oxide, which is a highly reactive gas with adverse effects on the environment and a person’s health. As such, the Audi and VW diesel vehicles that were sold in the US were pollutants. Drivers went around the country not knowing that they were already contributing to air pollution. VW deceived its customers.
Apart from the VW Group, many other carmakers have been implicated in the diesel emissions fiasco. This includes some of the world’s most popular and successful brands, such as Mercedes-Benz, Renault, and BMW.
VW, Daimler (Mercedes’ parent company), and BMW were also caught forming a cartel and colluding on limiting and delaying clean emissions technology. Only Daimler escaped the fine because they reported the existence of the cartel. The European Commission imposed a €502,362,000 (approximately £438 million) fine on the Volkswagen Group and a €372,827,000 (around £326 million) fine on BMW. This marked the beginning of the BMW emissions scandal.
The Dieselgate scandal is considered the biggest (and still ongoing) scam that has ever affected the global automotive industry. Emissions from the affected vehicles have succeeded in complicating the air pollution problem. Carmakers should be held responsible for deceiving their customers and polluting the already polluted air even further.
Nitrogen oxide or NOx is known for its life-altering effects on the environment and human health. Its main components are nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and nitric oxide (NO). Once NOx reacts with other elements, it produces acid rain, smog, and ground-level ozone, which can damage ecosystems.
Whether you’ve experienced them before or not, you’ll have to deal with episodes of anxiety and depression. Your cognitive abilities may be affected as well, and this will increase your risk of developing dementia, particularly Alzheimer’s disease.
Aside from cancer, there are other negative health effects that you should be aware of if you are constantly exposed to nitrogen oxide. This includes:
- Lung problems/complications
- Difficulty in breathing
- Bronchitis and emphysema
- Cardiovascular diseases
- Premature death
So, carmakers involved in the diesel emissions scandal did not only lie to their customers and mis-sell vehicles, but they also exposed many lives to danger. You need to make them accept the consequences of their actions. Bring forward an emissions claim against your carmaker.
Before you can make a claim, however, you need to find out if you are qualified to do so. To find out what you need to do, get in touch with or visit the Emissions.co.uk website. Only then will you be able to start your claims process.