Eco News Round Up June 2018

  • 11th June 2018

Air Pollutions Big Cost on Health

Researchers from the Universities of Oxford and Bath have published a report stating air pollution from cars and vans amounts to health bills of nearly £6bn every year. The researchers found that the costs were highest in cities.

Air pollution is linked to about 40,000 premature deaths each year in the UK, compared with 98,000 preventable deaths a year which are attributable to smoking, the report said.

Diesel vehicles were the worst offenders in terms of harmful pollutants compared to electric vehicles which are much less dangerous as they create no tailpipe emissions. 

Nearly 90 per cent of all the health costs associated with pollution from cars and vans are down to diesel vehicles. The government are looking to counteract this by levying heavier taxes for diesel vehicles and in some cases banning older models of diesel vehicles completely.

Borneo's Orangutans

Orangutans have long been struggling to survive from years of logging, hunting and palm oil expansion. Borneo has lost more than 1,000 orangutans in the space of just 16 years. And now the situation has reached crisis point, with Peatland forest, home to some of the last remaining Bornean orangutans, being logged.

Greenpeace have identified six illegal logging settlements in the Forest, this is despite the Indonesian government's vow to protect it. The wood was supplying sawmills and furniture businesses in the region. The forest is home to around 1,200 orangutans and with the continued destruction of the habitat they can't survive. 

Plastic found in UK mussels

A study of mussels bought in UK supermarkets and in seawaters around the UK has found that they all contain plastic. The scientists said the contamination from microplastics was significant and widespread. 

The study published in the journal Environmental Pollution, sampled wild mussles from eight coastal locations and mussels purchased from eight unnamed supermarkets. The study found that for every 100g of mussels being eaten, an estimated 70 pieces of tiny debris were also being taken in.

This is just another set of findings which shows how ubiquitous microplastics are. These particles can be found in everything from food, bottle water to even the air.