Among Physicians is growing criticism of the limit values for nitrogen dioxide and fine dust, and thus to the threat of driving bans for older diesel vehicles. More than 100 lung doctors have signed a position paper that questions the health hazards and calls for a review of the existing limits. In the paper the former President of the German society for pneumology (DGP), Dieter Köhler criticized much of the existing studies into the health risks posed by diesel exhaust as methodologically questionable.

Stefan Tomik

editor in the policy.

F. A. Z.

in order Köhler goes against the previous Position of the current DGP Board. This was pointed out at the end of November in a position paper in detail on health risks from air pollutants and the results of the study of the renowned Helmholtz centre for environmental medicine. The Munich researchers see potential health hazards due to nitrogen dioxide and fine particulate in low concentrations, such as the currently valid limit values.

In an interview with FAZ.NET rejects the physician and physiologist, Holger Schulz, Deputy Director of the Institute of epidemiology at Helmholtz Zentrum München, the allegations of the physicians ‘ group to Köhler.

Mr Schulz, according to scientific studies, thousands of premature deaths can be attributed annually to exposure to fine dust and nitrogen oxides. Now, about a hundred Doctors say they have seen in their practices and clinics never dead due to fine dust. How do they fit together?

That may be true, but you look at cigarette smokers. Have you ever seen a smoker who fell down while Dragging on his cigarette dead? Cigarette smoke and fine dust have a similar impact on the body. A smoker does not die of the smoke, he dies of the heart attack, stroke or lung cancer, and these diseases are also associated with particulate air pollution, although to a much lesser extent. But the fine dust are all exposed to the effects of the Problem. With Smoking you can’t stop Breathing.

How did you get these startling Figures of Thousands dead?

If scientists from different risk factors such as Smoking, lack of exercise or alcohol estimate and want to compare, you need a measure. This can be calculated in models, the number of premature deaths or reduced life expectancy. The fine dust, the EU environment Agency comes six months to a year.