This is what your government and the mainstream press aren’t telling you about the particles in the air that killing us:
- The International Agency for Research on Cancer and the World Health Organization designate airborne particulates a Group 1 carcinogen. They cause cancer.
- Particulates are the deadliest form of air pollution due to their ability to penetrate deep into the lungs and blood streams unfiltered.
- They cause permanent DNA mutations, heart attacks, and premature death.
- In 2013, a study involving 312,944 people in nine European countries revealed that there was no safe level of particulates. The only safe exposure to them is zero. (here)
- For every increase of 10 μg/m3 in PM10, the lung cancer rate rose 22%.
- The smaller PM2.5 were particularly deadly, with a 36% increase in lung cancer per 10 μg/m3 as it can penetrate deeper into the lungs.
- PM2.5 particles, that get deep into lungs, partly come from sulphur in fuel. There is little of this in diesel but lots in jet fuel.
- Particulate pollution caused 3.22 million deaths globally in 2010. (proof)
- The EU permits us to be exposed to particulates as follows: PM10, 40 µg/m3. PM2.5, 25 µg/m3. A level which is dangerous to humans.
Now let’s look at Heathrow:
- Pollution levels around Heathrow have been exceeding internationally agreed standards for some time.
- In 2014 Defra updated forecasts for compliance and suggested that compliance will now not be achieved until post 2030 (with 2 runways).
- The Airports Commission said in its 2014/15 consultation ”Due to the increase in harmful emissions forecast to result from both the NWR and ENR schemes the Commission judges that without mitigation measures the scheme performance is significantly adverse in relation to the objective of improving air quality consistent with EU standards and local planning policy requirements.”
- Aircraft pollutants kill many more times the number of people that plane crashes do.
- Particulate matter emissions from airplanes, along with ships and trains, contribute to 1,800 early deaths per year in the United Kingdom. (paper)
- There are nearly half a million aircraft movements a year in and out of Heathrow.
- Due to prevailing winds most aircraft using Heathrow fly directly over London.
- Greater London’s population of nearly 9 million lie directly downwind of Heathrow.
- Heathrow airport ran out of capacity for aircraft movements in 1977. It needed a third runway 40 years ago. International air traffic has multiplied many times since then and is set to double again (proof). So a third runway is not enough. Heathrow will have to build a fourth, a fifth a sixth. Amsterdam already has six.
Our government know that their policies are killing us, they also know that expanding Heathrow will kill more of us. The only British politician to take this seriously is Boris Johnson. Whilst Mayor of London he said repeatedly that expanding Heathrow was idiotic and that we should build a new airport to the East of London, where prevailing winds would blow the particulate pollution into the sea. This would almost certainly be implemented were he to become Prime Minister.
A briefing on aviation emissions and air pollution. With references.