New research suggests improved regulations and particle filtration devices should be introduced to limit the amount of particulate matter (PM) released from vessels. Residents in port cities and coastal areas are especially affected by the emissions from ships’ engines.
A team of researchers from Germany’s University of Rostock and the Helmholtz Virtual Institute of Complex Molecular Systems in Environmental Health (HICE) exposed human lung cells to marine diesel fuel and heavy fuel oil emissions, and negative impacts were found for both types of fuel.
“The study shows that heavy fuel oil is in particular responsible for high concentrations of known toxic and carcinogenic substances in the air such as heavy metals and hydrocarbons. We really underline the recommendation of the scientists to urgently switch to low-sulphur fuels together with effective emission abatement techniques,” said Dietmar Oeliger, transport expert at Nature and Biodiversity Conservation Union (NABU).
Source: NABU press release, 5 June 2015