Friday, 18 April 2014

Air pollution in Prague starts crossing yearly quotas

23 November 2012

Prague, Nov 22 (CTK) - Dust-related air pollution has crossed the yearly quota in some parts of Prague, mainly due to motor vehicles exhaust fumes, which leads to increased numbers of the diseases of lungs and the cardiovascular system and consequently to a higher death rate, Miroslav Suta has told CTK.

Suta, from the Environment and Health Centre, said low-emission zones that limit the entrance of high-emission motor vehicles would help Prague.

"These zones have proved themselves mainly in Germany and Denmark, but they are also established in several other countries. Prague has decided to have a feasibility study made," Suta said.

He said the Prague City Hall set up a working group for the zones in the spring, but it has not met since.

Suta said the introduction of the toll would also help Prague. Now, Prague has zones from which lorries above 3.5 and six tonnes and buses are banned.

Suta said a part of Prague inhabitants breathe dust-polluted air due to heavy road traffic more often than the permissible 35 days a year.

The situation in Prague crosses World Health Organisation (WHO) recommendations as well as valid domestic levels.

Czech politicians asked the European Commission for an exception, but the validity of the exception granted expired in June 2011 already, Suta said.

Prague also crosses the permissible levels of nitrogen dioxide. Unless the Czech Republic negotiates new conditions in Brussels, it will face sanctions.

According to the State Health Institute, some 6400 people died prematurely of air pollution-related diseases in the Czech Republic last year.

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