Personal Health

Air pollution getting worse: 1100 Deaths a year in Germany due to nuclear phase-out

Billion cost of the phase-out of nuclear energy. How much, exactly, have charged three US-based scientists. Their analysis also shows that The emissions of sulphur dioxide, nitrogen oxide and particulate matter is greatly increased, which affects the health.

Thus, a positive effect of the nuclear phase-out is perceived by Many, so bad he is for our health. Write at least three U.S. researchers. They calculated in a large-scale data analysis, such as the Situation in Germany without him would have looked like. Point costs for the nuclear phase-out twelve billion dollars (value in 2017) per year.

Their findings, published Akshaya Jha (Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh), Stephen Jarvis (University of California, Berkeley) and Olivier Deschenes (University of California, Santa Barbara), a working paper (not peer-reviewed) at the prestigious National Bureau of Economic Research.

Based on your calculations, is your drastic statement to Germany: “The nuclear phase-out by higher concentrations of SO2, NOx and fine dust more than 1,100 additional deaths per year are conducted.” Responsible for the production of electricity by coal-fired power plants is mainly, namely, to about 80 percent. Your Numbers are based on studies and derived from model calculations. A forecast of how the development would look like, if the further switch from coal and other fossil energy sources to renewable technologies, is not part of the investigation.

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In fact, the air-affecting pollutants, the health. The world health organization (WHO) all over the world, from 4.2 million deaths due to air pollution. Who is exposed to this on a regular basis, for the risk of stroke, heart disease, lung cancer as well as chronic and acute respiratory diseases such as Asthma is on the rise.

The individual substances act, specifically:

1. Sulphur dioxide SO2

Sulphur dioxide in the environment

Sulphur dioxide (SO2) is a Gas: colorless, pungent-smelling, water-soluble. It can harm people and the environment. The experts of the Federal Environment Agency add: “In the atmosphere from sulfur dioxide, the resulting sulfate particles also contribute to the burden of particulate matter (PM10).”

As sulfur dioxide enters the body

The Gas is created when fossil fuels such as coal and Oil burn, and the fuel contained sulfur is oxidized. Through the respiratory tract and mucous membranes of the person absorbs sulphur dioxide.

The health consequences of sulphur dioxide

The Federal environment Agency warns that sulphur dioxide, attacks the mucous membranes, which can lead to eye irritation and respiratory problems. However, the SO2concentration were nationwide, far below the applicable limits. So, “by SO2 caused health problems in Germany, no longer to be feared,” write the experts.

2. Nitrogen Oxides NOx

Oxides of nitrogen in the environment

“Nitrogen oxides” is a collective term for nitrogen monoxide (NO) and nitrogen dioxide (NO2), two toxic gases. You will be directed mainly by the combustion processes in the environment, such as in a power plant in the engines of vehicles or home Heating with a fireplace. Candles, gas stoves, oil Stoves and cigarettes emit nitrogen oxides.

So stick reaches oxide in the body

Nitrogen dioxide is irritating to the eyes and passes through the mouth and nose into the body. There, it attacks, first, the mucous membranes of the respiratory organs, and then penetrates deep into the respiratory tract where it can cause cell damage in the lung tissue, and inflammatory processes, and the bronchi can irritate, warns the Federal environment Agency is the.

Nitric oxide interferes with less of the lung tissue as the blood vessels. It is distributed with the blood in the body and the blood can affect vascular tension. Possible consequences are attacks and strokes. Since the body itself, nitric oxide as a messenger, forming fabric, can interfere with externally supplied quantities of the natural NO processes in the body.

The health effects of nitrogen oxide

The Federal environment Agency warns of the many health consequences, such as

  • Shortness of breath
  • Cough
  • Bronchitis
  • Pulmonary edema
  • increasing susceptibility to respiratory infections, and allergies
  • Lung function impairment
  • Cardiovascular diseases such as heart attacks and strokes
  • higher mortality

To be at risk, especially people who already have damaged respiratory system. In Europe for nitrogen dioxide a limit value of 40 micrograms per cubic meter set, but even the smallest amounts, according to the environmental protection Agency concern: “recent studies indicate that it is for NO2 no threshold value below which health effects are excluded can. Therefore, even at low NO2-values of negative impacts on health expected to be.“

Indirectly, of nitrogen dioxide affects the health, because it is a Precursor for fine dust.

3. Fine dust

Fine dust in the environment

Fine dust is virtually everywhere: He passes from the engines of cars in the air, by the abrasion of brakes and tyres, and flows from power plants, metal and steel to create. Indoors, candles, wood stoves, fireplaces, laser printer, or a Toaster to increase the load of fine dust

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So fine dust get into the body

Fine dust is so small that it is the natural filter of the body, such as mucous membranes and cilia, can’t stop. We breathe in him, he will be taken, depending on the size of different parts of the body. In the case of a so-called aerodynamic diameter of ten micrometers (PM10) can penetrate fine dust in the bronchi.

Smaller particles under 2.5 micrometers (PM2. 5) can the alveoli in the lungs and bronchioles penetrate. Respiratory bronchioles are the finest Terminal in the lungs. Its diameter is less than 0.1 microns, can reach the dust even in the lung tissue and the bloodstream.

The health effects of fine dust

Depending on how big the particles are and in what area of your body you land, you can have different health consequences. It may also be the source plays a role – so, for example, fine dust from the car could affect engines differently on the body as a fine dust from coal-fired power plants.

Generally speaking, experts estimate that, in Germany, from 2007 to 2015, each year, an average of 44.900 people prematurely died because they were exposed to ne dust. The German Federal environment Agency reported. The world health organization confirmed: “There is a close quantitative relationship between exposure to high concentrations of small particles (PM10 and PM2. 5) and increased mortality or morbidity”, – stated in a communication. “Conversely, mortality decreases when the concentrations are reduced to fine particles, provided other factors remain unchanged.”

  • Heart disease: A Europe-wide investigation of the Helmholtz Institute for epidemiology 2015 to the conclusion that people Who over a long period the fine dust is exposed, has an increased risk for coronary heart disease, i.e. a disease of the coronary vessels. Thus, the probability of suffering a heart attack rises among others. The Institute had studied in the same year, the fine dust pollution specifically in Augsburg. An increased risk of heart attacks showed a short-term PM10-concentration.
  • Infections of the lower respiratory tract: such As the world health organization (WHO) reports, there is a connection between the fine dust from an open fire or traditional cooking areas and an infection of the lower respiratory tract. This was seen especially in countries with low and middle income.
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and lung cancer: a connection between the small particles and serious lung diseases such as cancer according to the WHO. The American Lung Association is convinced.