Breathing Uneasily

Pollution, traffic, and breathing.

I’m not breathing so well lately, though my heart and lung X-rays got the all clear. Return of childhood asthma? Or coinciding with winter’s onset - less fresh air, ancient gas heater on all the time? Mild psychological upset, and old age?
Am saying all this to make it clear that I’m not jumping to any conclusions about extrinsic factors; I will try and stick to facts, as the climate sceptic I met recently urged me to do.

News recently (June 2012) of experts from the World Health Organisation unanimously classifying diesel emissions as carcinogenic.
Read the full article from the ABC.

Finnish study
An abstract of a study in 2012 in Finland by Ikka Hanski examining the relationship between declining biodiversity and an increase in allergic reactions in urban areas.
And here’s the story as reported on ABC Radio National’s PM.

Here’s a report on the NDR (North German Radio) outlining that the environmental protection agency BUND are petitioning the Hamburg parliament to guarantee clean air in Hamburg.
This article is in German, but it states that in four traffic areas (Kieler Straße, Stresemannstraße, Habichtstraße, and Max-Brauer-Allee) the permitted toxin levels are being consistently overstepped. I know these streets very well and while they are often congested and busy, they don’t come close to handling the volume of traffic that many Melbourne streets do.

Melbourne’s West
The Maribyrnong Track Action Group’s website has some figures about truck traffic in Melbourne’s West. In 2005 VicRoads counted more than 20,000 heavy trucks per day using residential streets in Maribyrnong, and a similar area near San Francisco (Port of Oakland) has recorded pollution 40 times higher than the Californian average, with 7000 trucks a day.

Take a deep breath and draw your own conclusions.
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