Pollution is a pervasive problem affecting the well-being of millions of people across the globe. Concerns have heightened regarding the adverse effects of pollution on human health. A UK study recently discovered evidence of a link between long-term illness and pollution. The study found that air pollution is associated with an increased risk of long-term illness, including heart disease, lung cancer, and respiratory infections.
The findings of the UK study are not new. Scientists and health professionals have long been aware of the damaging effects of air pollution on human health. The World Health Organization estimates that air pollution contributes to seven million premature deaths yearly. The link between long-term illness and pollution is a complex issue influenced by various factors, including the type of pollutant, the level of exposure, and individual susceptibility.
In 2015, a major scandal rocked the automotive industry with the revelation that Volkswagen had installed software in its diesel vehicles to cheat emissions tests. Dubbed “Dieselgate,” the scandal exposed a widespread practice of carmakers manipulating emission levels to meet regulatory standards while allowing their cars to release harmful pollutants into the air.
The use of diesel as a fuel source has long been a source of controversy due to its harmful impact on air quality. Diesel exhaust contains a mix of toxic pollutants, including particulate matter, nitrogen oxides, and greenhouse gases, contributing to various health problems, from respiratory illnesses to heart disease. The Dieselgate scandal only served to highlight the dangers of air pollution and the need for stricter regulations to protect public health.
While Volkswagen was the most high-profile company involved in the scandal, others, including Renault, also came under scrutiny. In 2016, French authorities launched an investigation into Renault diesel emissions after it was discovered that some of its vehicles were allegedly emitting higher levels of NOx than allowed under EU regulations. The company was accused of using “fraudulent strategies” and “manipulation” to cheat emissions tests.
Despite Renault emission claims popping up, the French automaker disputed these, saying that its vehicles complied with all applicable regulations and emission standards. However, in June 2021, the company was fined €80 million (approximately £69.4 million) for failing to comply with emissions requirements.
Diesel emissions and air pollution
While the immediate effects of exposure to diesel fumes are well known, such as respiratory irritation and aggravating asthma, the long-term impacts are less talked about. It is becoming increasingly evident that exposure to diesel pollution over a prolonged period can lead to serious health issues, including cancer and lung dysfunction.
Diesel fumes are a complex mixture of various gases and particles that are well-known for causing harmful effects when inhaled. One of the primary compounds in diesel exhaust is particulate matter or PM. These tiny particles can penetrate deeply into the lungs and pose a severe health risk, particularly to those with pre-existing health conditions. Scientists have also found that diesel fumes contain other toxic components, such as benzene, nitrogen oxides, and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, that are linked to a range of severe health conditions.
Over time, exposure to diesel emissions can lead to significant health issues, with research indicating that long-term exposure increases the risk of premature death. A recent study by the International Agency for Research on Cancer found that diesel exhaust emissions are carcinogenic, with a clear link between diesel exposure and lung cancer.
Concerningly, diesel fumes pose a heightened risk to vulnerable groups such as children, the elderly, and those with pre-existing respiratory and cardiovascular conditions. Studies have shown that the particulate matter in diesel emissions can cross the placenta, posing health risks to unborn babies. Additionally, those living in low-income areas with limited access to health care are more at risk of developing chronic illnesses linked to pollution exposure.
Despite the mounting evidence linking long-term illness and pollution, the problem remains largely unaddressed. Governments and regulators have been slow to act, and the response from the automotive industry has been inadequate. The Dieselgate scandal was a wake-up call, but there is still a long way to go before meaningful change can be achieved.
Who can make a diesel claim?
If you own a diesel-powered vehicle marketed as being environmentally friendly or meeting certain emission standards, but it turns out that it was not the case, then you may have grounds for a diesel claim. Manufacturers have been known to use “defeat devices” that can cheat emissions tests to make their diesel engines seem less polluting than they actually are. You can visit Emissions.co.uk for more information about filing diesel claims.
Diesel claims can take time to resolve, and it is important to be patient throughout the entire process. Keep in mind that the manufacturer or service provider needs to investigate the incident thoroughly before they can process your claim. With enough evidence and documentation, you can still get your well-deserved emission compensation.