Claim: 5,000 deaths annually from dieselgate in Europe

I’m defending the car industry because it is too stupid to defend itself.

Here’s what you need to know.

  1. Dieselgate was about higher than allowed NOx emissions caused by car manufacturers rigging their engines to cheat emissions tests.
  2. EPA imagines NOx as a precursor to fine particulate matter (PM2.5).
  3. It is claimed that PM2.5 causes millions of deaths every year.
  4. Scare Pollution debunks the claim that PM2.5 kills anyone. So NOx kills no one.
  5. So there is nothing to the extra NOx emissions and this study except a lot of junk science.

The media release is below.

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5,000 deaths annually from dieselgate in Europe
INTERNATIONAL INSTITUTE FOR APPLIED SYSTEMS ANALYSIS

Since the late 1990s the share of diesel cars in the EU has risen to around 50% in the fleet, with important variations between countries. There are now more than 100 million diesel cars running in Europe, twice as many as in the rest of the world together. Their NOx emissions are however 4 to 7 times higher on the road than in official certification tests. Modern engine controls have been optimized by manufacturers for the specific laboratory testing but underperform in real-driving. In this new study we calculate the premature deaths from these excess NOx emissions for the population in all European countries.

Health effect estimates

About 425,000 premature deaths annually are associated with the current levels of air pollution in EU28, Norway and Switzerland. More than 90% of these premature deaths are caused by respiratory and cardiovascular diseases related to exposure to fine particulate matter. NOx is a key precursor to this fine particulate matter. This new study estimates that roughly 10,000 premature deaths annually can be attributed to NOx emissions from diesel cars, vans and light commercial vehicles. About half–around 5,000 premature deaths annually–are due to NOx emissions being much higher than limit values in real-world driving. Petrol cars have much lower emissions. “If diesel car emissions were as low as petrol car emissions, three quarters or about 7,500 premature deaths could have been avoided” says Jens Borken-Kleefeld, transportation expert at the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA).

The countries with the highest number of premature deaths attributable to fine particles from diesel cars, vans and light commercial vehicles are Italy, Germany and France. That is because of both their large populations and a high share of diesel cars. However, the risk per capita is almost twice as high in Italy as in France. “This reflects the very adverse pollution situation, particularly in highly populated Northern Italy”, says research leader Jan Eiof Jonson from the Norwegian Meteorological Institute. The lowest risks are in Norway, Finland and Cyprus where risks are at least fourteen times lower than the EU28+ average.

The study was conducted by the Norwegian Meteorological Institute in cooperation with the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) in Austria, and the Dept. Space, Earth & Environment at Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden. In this study the Norwegian Meteorological Institute has calculated the pollutant concentrations and depositions based on NOx emissions from LDDVs from different countries and model years provided by IIASA. IIASA has also made the health effect calculations.

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5 thoughts on “Claim: 5,000 deaths annually from dieselgate in Europe”

  1. random news:

    A group of prominent scientists on Monday created a potential whiplash moment for climate policy, suggesting that humanity could have considerably more time than previously thought to avoid a “dangerous” level of global warming.

    The upward revision to the planet’s influential “carbon budget” was published by a number of researchers who have been deeply involved in studying the concept, making it all the more unexpected.

    “What this paper means is that keeping warming to 1.5 degrees C still remains a geophysical possibility, contrary to quite widespread belief,” Richard Millar of the University of Oxford said in a news briefing. He conducted the research with scientists from Britain, Canada, New Zealand, Austria, Switzerland and Norway.

    But the new calculation diverged so much from what had gone before that other experts were still trying to figure out what to make of it.

    “When it’s such a substantial difference, you really need to sit back and ponder what that actually means,” Glen Peters, an expert on climate and emissions trajectories at the Center for International Climate Research in Oslo, said of the paper

  2. It draws attention away from the terrorist murders and their refusal to deal with the problem. It makes them feel like a hero.

  3. Lord save us from bad science applied by the ignorant. Nitrous oxides (NOx) is formed in the diesel cycle engine due to the temperature of combustion the higher level of particulates (higher molecular weight carbon/hydrocarbon condensates) results from the less complete combustion of the hydrocarbon fuel associated with the lower volatile fuel (kerosene/diesel vs. gasoline) and as stated the NOX are associated with the process but are NOT precursors. Again an indirect study based on a weak house of cards as no actual toxicity data nor variable controls. This study also seems to disregard the ever expanding use of diesel co-generators, along with natural gas generators, due to the avoidance of new Nuclear fuelled power plants, the ever increasing use of diesel cycle engines in commerce and a host of others. Worse than a Readers Digest version.

  4. NOx is a gas and as such it is NOT a precursor of Paticulates. Diesel engines release both. NOx emissions are a problem in outdoor air because they are directly toxic to human lungs and moreso than particulates as most epi studies show. NOx emissions are also a precursor of ozone, but ozone is much less harmful to human lungs. Only CO is more harmful, but diesel emits very little CO compared to gas engines.

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