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Together with three health professionals societies the Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL) has sent a statement to members of the German Parliament on evaluating health risks from diesel NOx emissions, on the occasion of a parliamentary report on the subject.

The European Respiratory Society’s (ERS) Environment and Health Committee, the International Society for Environmental Epidemiology’s (ISEE) European Council, the German Society of Hygiene, Environmental and Public Health Sciences (GHUP) and HEAL jointly pointed out the high relevance of NOx emissions from diesel vehicles for public health. The statement was released one day after a report on excess diesel emissions in Germany, featuring conclusions on likely health effects of these emissions, was finalizsed by an investigative commission of the German parliament. German environmental health experts including Prof Barbara Hoffmann from the ERS had previously criticized the conclusions regarding health effects made in a draft of this report to be at odds with the current scientific literature.

The statement stresses that there is a large amount of evidence from epidemiological and partly from toxicological studies on the health effects of nitrogen dioxide, and even more so on particulate matter and ozone’s health effects which are also linked to diesel nitrous oxide (NOx) emissions. The parliamentary report and the statement come at a time of high public debate about additional measures to cut diesel vehicle emissions. The supporting organisations call on the German government as well as the automobile industry to accept the greater responsibility that arises from the heavy toll that diesel emissions take on health.

Read the full statement here (in German only).