The Federal Minister for transport is happy and with him, the car industry and the ADAC: A small but loud minority of lung doctors, one hundred and four thousand members of the German society for pneumology, has beaten on its side, and the scientific basis of long-existing limit values for nitrogen oxides and particulate matter questioned – not because ground-breaking new results of the existence of pollutants on the health hazards of air, but because of the threat of diesel driving bans don’t fit, ordered after non-compliance with the European Standards by German judges. Many people were unsettled by the thrust of the lung doctors, the doctors are afraid of losing their credibility, because for them the protection of Health should be the first consideration. The clinical pulmonary doctor, Tobias Welte of Hannover Medical school, is currently President of the European pulmonologists society, has worked with 14 representatives of the International Forum of Respiratory Societies FIRS, the global merger of the leading companies for lung health, with more than 70,000 members, an opinion, which we document here:

Joachim Müller-Jung

editor in the features section, responsible for the area of “nature and science”.

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“The Forum of the International lung societies, FIRS, agreed to the national German Standards, European Standards and those of the world health organization (WHO), and the group of the German lung specialist doctors who had argued for a softening of the limits. According to the WHO, the pollution of the air is for 4.2 million annual deaths. Although the lung is the most affected by air pollution, affected by these other organ systems and chronic diseases worsened. Acute effects the most visible effect of long term exposure creates, however, chronic changes, which can be fatal: cancer, heart disease, damage to the newborn and dementia are associated with air pollution, especially particulate matter with a diameter under 2.5 micrometers (PM2. 5) and other diesel exhaust emissions are responsible.

The harmful effects remained unnoticed for a long time, what has prompted the WHO to describe the health effects of air pollution as a “silent epidemic”. The greater the pollutant load and the lower the ability of people, particularly those with chronic diseases or social constraints to deal with, the greater the health consequences.

Harmful effects of air pollution are even below the international limits. So the risk for a stroke due to PM2. 5 particles within 12 to 14 hours after exposure is greatest. This is true even in the case of PM2. 5 concentrations rationem below the international Standards. The Standards were chosen in such a way that even for the chronically Ill, significant negative effects can be excluded on health. FIRS thus strongly supports international Standards. Each activity is for a clean air promotes health.

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The Forum of International Respiratory Societies (FIRS) disagrees with the group of about 100 pulmonologists and agrees with the German national standards, the European standards and the World Health Organization (WHO) standards.

According to the World Health Organization, outdoor fine particle pollution, also called “soot” or PM2.5, accounts for 4.2 million deaths per year. Although the lung is the organ most injured by air pollution, pollution can cause or complicate many conditions outside the respiratory system. The acute effects of air pollution are the most noticeable, but the chronic effects are the most deadly. Cancers, heart disease, birth defects, and even dementia have been linked to air pollution, with fine inhalable particles having diameters generally 2.5 micrometers and smaller, called PM2.5, and diesel exhaust often being the culprits.

That the harmful effects go unnoticed has prompted the WHO to term the health effects of air pollution-the “silent epidemic.” The greater The exposure and the less one’s ability to cope with air pollution, because of illness or social vulnerability, the greater the harm done. Harmful effects of air pollution have also been found at exposure levels below international standards. For example, to increased risk of stroke is greatest within 12 to 14 hours of exposure to PM2.5 and the relation holds up even with PM2.5 levels below international standards. International standards protect health.