Cruise Ship Air is ‘Sixty Times Filthier’ than Fresh Sea Breeze

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Cruise ship air is ‘Sixty times filthier’ than fresh sea breeze: Passengers with lung conditions are warned to not stay on deck for two long

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Cruise ship passengers could be exposed to pollution levels that are up to 60 times higher than fresh air, it was reported on Jan 31 night.

Scientists measured the air quality on board a ship leaving Marseille.

They found the concentration of ultra-fine particles was up to 20 times worse than in the city centres of port cities including Barcelona, Hamburg and Venice.

Levels were tested at various points on the cruise liner, with the sun deck and jogging lane on the top deck found to have the highest concentration of pollutants during one, 50-minute reading.

An average of 60,000 particles per cubic centimetre were recorded, compared to the 1,000 to 2,000 expected in a fresh sea breeze, according to the Naturschutzbund Deutschland (NABU), a German environmental association.

The startling research was carried out by French documentary television series Thalassa.

It has led to experts warning passengers with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease against staying on deck for too long.

The study linked the ultra-fine particles to deadly lung diseases, heart attacks, stroke, asthma and even diabetes, Daniel Rieger, a transport policy officer and researcher at NABU, said.

And a one-off reading even showed pollution levels were as much as 200 times higher than normal.

Campaign groups have long demanded action over the increasing noise, smell, and pollution from cruise ships, with many saying the environmental and aesthetic costs of the thriving industry outweigh the benefits to the local economy.

Previous studies have shown cruise ships are belching out almost one billion tons of carbon dioxide every year, in addition to smoke and heavy metals emitted by the combustion of marine diesel and oil.

Mr Rieger warned the poor air quality could be rife across nearly all cruise ships because of the widespread use of low quality fuels, such as heavy fuel oil, combined with a lack of particulate filters.

But Helge Grammerstorf, the German national director of the Cruise Lines International Association dismissed the readings as unsubstantiated.

The former ship captain and ship broker said a more systematic test over a longer period would be needed.  ‘We don’t know these measurements. The claim is completely unsubstantiated,’ he told German daily newspaper Hamburger Abendblatt.

Environmentalists have called for stricter regulations to make cruise companies switch to more environmentally friendly fuels, such as road diesel or liquid natural gas and to make particulate filters and nitrogen catalysts mandatory.

Last year, California based Princess Cruise Lines were fined a record £32 million after pleading guilty to dumping thousands of gallons of oil and waste off the cost of the UK.

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Source: Daily Mail

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