Mounting concern about carbon emissions may be altering travel habits in Europe’s largest economy as figures from German airports show a steady decline in passengers taking domestic flights.
The number of people flying between German cities fell 12% in November from a year earlier, according to the ADV industry group, marking a fourth straight monthly drop and mirroring a pattern emerging in Sweden, where teenage activist Greta Thunberg has spearheaded a campaign against air transport. Rail firm Deutsche Bahn AG has meanwhile reported record passenger numbers.
Air pollution could be more damaging to our health than previously thought, according to a new study, which found that prolonged exposure to dirty air has a significant impact on our cognitive abilities, especially in older men.
The impact of air pollution on human health is well-documented. We know that exposure to high levels of air pollutants raises the risk of respiratory infections, heart disease, stroke, lung cancer as well as dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. But there is growing evidence to suggest that air pollution does not just affect our health – it affects our behaviour too.
The internal combustion engine’s days may be numbered in California, where officials are mulling whether a ban on sales of polluting autos is needed to achieve long-term targets for cleaner air.
Britain is to ban all new petrol and diesel cars and vans from 2040 amid fears that rising levels of nitrogen oxide pose a major risk to public health.
London may have the world’s most stringent rules against vehicle emissions by 2019, according to a proposal from Mayor Sadiq Khan.
Supplements of healthy fats could be an immediate way of cutting the harm caused to billions around the world by air pollution, according to emerging research.
However, the research also shows air pollution particles can penetrate through the lungs of lab animals into many major organs, including the brain and testicles. This raises the possibility that the health damage caused by toxic air is even greater than currently known.
Sadiq Khan issued the first “very high” air pollution alert of his eight-month tenure as London mayor, advising citizens to reduce physical exertion and avoid running outside.