Cars should carry a health warning, says John Whitelegg

 Credit: Jeremy Hughes

An article published in Wednesday 9th January's edition of the Guardian byJohn Whitelegg, professor of sustainable development at York University's Stockholm Environment Institute, claims that a person driving to work or doing the school run by car in normal urban traffic conditions is exposed to air condition that is two to four times worse than that experienced by a person on a bike, walking or using public transport.

This is because vehicles travel in a 'tunnel' of maximum pollution caused by other vehicles, and also suck in evaporative emissions of oil or brake fluid falling onto hot metal.

As a result of this, Whitelegg writes, we can expect 350,000 premature deaths across Europe by the end of 2008, with an estimated 17,500 deaths in the UK [and a further 1500 from ozone pollution].

Whitelegg finishes:

"The time has come for every car to carry a health warning: driving around in [a] car can seriously damage your health. It is also time to deliver serious improvements in health and quality of life by culling the vehicle population rather than the human population. Fewer vehicles driving fewer miles really will save lives."

You can read the whole article by following the link on the right.