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Discussion > Drs against Diesel : A subsidy mafia Front

nby, see wuwt. Reference to Africa suffering hunger due to agricultural land being turned over to biofuel.

Jan 17, 2017 at 3:43 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Heh, nby, Jon protesteth much, but does not overly support.

Jan 17, 2017 at 5:39 PM | Unregistered Commenterkim

Ah Welcome back John Grigg
Any thoughts on new idea about Asthma being overdiagnosed by 33% ?

I wonder if there effects NOx and particulate harm stats ?

Jan 17, 2017 at 11:59 PM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

I will keep banging on about it...

Hybrid fueling (LPG) of diesel vehicles is now quite a well tested technology (Ask Waitrose / John Lewis) see here. The reduction of diesel exhaust particulates is 95% + in many cases 98% to 99% with a payback time of 24 months from the increased efficiency.

@Jon Grigg

I think fwiw that you might find this report (Jan '17) of more than passing interest.


Jan 18, 2017 at 11:04 AM | Unregistered Commentertomo

A cursory Google showing papers about the effects of diesel on asthma sufferers brought up a paper in the New England Journal of Medicine (McCreanor 2007). Asthma sufferers were exposed to London traffic and monitored their own asthma symptoms a week before and after. They walked for an hour or two in different places.

The paper couldn't conclude much but one glaring problem is lack of characterisation of asthma symptoms over prolonged periods to obtain a behavioural and environmental baseline. 6 months per person would be a good place to start. Otherwise you are looking for a reason to blame particulates and NO2. I don't know if this is a common theme in more recent studies.

Jan 18, 2017 at 12:31 PM | Registered CommenterMicky H Corbett

Thanks for heads up to here.
I have a personal interest in asthma. My middle son was a sufferer during his childhood, from the age of about two. We did all the usual stuff twice daily peak flow meter readings, becotide and ventolin, six monthly visits to consultant visits.

The interesting thing is his hospitalisations, I think that there about 10 in all, three of which involved stays in the ICU/HDU in Derby Children's Hospital and none were less than 5/6 days. All standard stuff so far until you consider the following:
His stays in hospital were coincidental to
4 FA Cup Final weeks
On 18th, 18th, 19th (a leap year), 17th September
The other stays were as a result of colds and possibly were in actual fact chest infections.

For the last 15 years he has been free from asthma but still gets offered free flu jags.

To me his asthma attacks were in no way directly related to diesel or other particulates much more likely the spring attacks being triggered by pollen and the Autumn ones by fungi spores or some other seasonal natural source. No doubt as he is still regarded as an asthmatic then he'll be included in reports like this.

One of the things we were told was that swimming was good exercise for asthmatics, most of my Sunday mornings involved a trip to Derby Moorways Pool. We usual stayed until his lips started showing a blue tinge. When he got older football and going off on his bike with his mates proved a bigger attraction than getting cold swimming.

Jan 18, 2017 at 1:15 PM | Unregistered CommenterSandyS

I should have also said that our hospital visits involved meeting the many of the same people who also hadn't been back since their last spring or Autumn visit and nurses commenting that "we've got a lot in this week"

Jan 18, 2017 at 1:20 PM | Unregistered CommenterSandyS

Panic stations?

Jan 18, 2017 at 2:31 PM | Unregistered Commenternot banned yet

SandyS, Hayfever and Eczema occur on my father's side of the family, and clearly have done so for 100+ years. I have not suffered regularly, but I have had mild allergic reactions consistent with Hayfever and/or Eczema throughout my life, 30+ years ago, shower gel wash/shampoo products would set off mild eczema. I still have no idea what sets off sneezing fits, but I think it is chemical rather than biological.

Asthma is a condition that is easy to diagnose, even if the cause is not. Nursery/school teachers may be quick and correct to diagnose "asthma" in their pupils, it may be that the trigger is something from the home environment, trip to and from school, something within the school, or even a teacher's choice of personal hygiene products.

As you note, pollen and fungal spores are 100% natural, organic and green environmental contaminants that are potentially life threatening. What percentage of inner city kids never get hayfever, because they are never near grass?

Jan 18, 2017 at 2:55 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Minor idea I wonder if biofuels can trigger harm similar to pollen ?
Like do biofuel exhausts gases contain a chemical which is also in pollen.

Jan 18, 2017 at 3:32 PM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

@NotBannedYet alerted us a 3 day alert the Mayor of London
"Mayor Sadiq Khan today put London on toxic air alert for at least three days.

City Hall sent out warnings that air pollution could rise today to “moderate” in 17 boroughs and the City."

#1 Should I care?
London is oppression central people don't have to work/live there. Better planning would have meant the high density had never happened in the first place.
#2 Is there a genuine problem or is it PR?
Does the newspaper item specify the Nox and PM2.5 figs ? No its only qualative.

The page ends :
"Hover over each borough for the percentage of deaths in 2014 and 2013 attributed to manmade PM2.5 pollution, according to Public Heath England figures"
The graphic then shows percentages ranging from 5.5% for outer boroughs to 8.3% for a tiny central borough.
Since PM2.5 is listed on zero death certificates I find these stats uncredible.

Jan 18, 2017 at 3:51 PM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

Like do biofuel exhausts gases contain a chemical which is also in pollen.

Jan 18, 2017 at 3:32 PM | Registered Commenterstewgreen.

No. Pollen allergens are usually biochemical, not combustion products.

Jan 18, 2017 at 4:06 PM | Unregistered Commentermichael hart

I searched pages for recent warning and found none.

The contains no warning
"Light winds and low temperatures throughout the day will inhibit the dispersal of locally-emitted pollutants. Consequently, 'Moderate' levels of PM10 & PM2.5 particulates and Nitrogen Dioxide are likely close to busy roads. "

Thu :
Air mass back trajectories indicate that air arriving in Greater London will have passed over industrialised and urban areas of Germany and the near continent. Consequently, it’s expected we will import particulate pollution. The imported particulates will combine with local emissions which have been poorly dispersed over the previous 24 hrs.

'Moderate' levels of particulates are forecast. At busy roadside sites, a combination of local emissions and imported pollution may result in 'High' levels of PM2.5 Particulates. 'Moderate' nitrogen dioxide is also forecast close to busy roads due to poor dispersion of local emissions"

Moderate is not the middle level it is only 2nd of 4

Jan 18, 2017 at 4:09 PM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

Michael Hart we know pollen triggers but do we know what it is in the pollen that triggers ?
I suggest that both pollen and exhaust might contain chemical Z.

Jan 18, 2017 at 4:12 PM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

"Merton Council is set to introduce a new diesel levy in April 2017 in response to a national health emergency and the Mayor of London’s pledge to cut air pollution in the capital.

Recognising the difficult financial climate many residents continue to face, the council will phase in the levy of £150 gradually over three years with an initial charge of £90 this year: The levy will apply to resident, business and trade parking permits.

Year Diesel levy for resident, business and trade parking permits
2017/18 £90
2018/19 £115
2019/20 £150"

Jan 18, 2017 at 4:13 PM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

stewgreen, simply put, it is usually proteins and/or carbohydrate-type molecules within the pollen grain. There is a large body of medical research on specific allergens from specific plants/trees. (Although my PhD is formally in Chemistry, it had a large component of Immunology that had to be read.)

Jan 18, 2017 at 4:22 PM | Unregistered Commentermichael hart

Nor does Sadiqs warning appear on any

It does appear on 20 UK news sites ..thru syndication I guess.

Jan 18, 2017 at 4:26 PM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

So Michael it couldn't be phenol or copper something ?

Jan 18, 2017 at 4:41 PM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

michael hart & stewgreen,

rephrasing stewgreen's question a bit ....

1. Asthma is the body's over reaction to something that is airborne, and is inhaled. It is an immune response.

2. Some people are more sensitive than others to a wide variety of different compounds, whatever the chemistry or origin of the compound is.

3. Children are more vulnerable/likely to suffer allergic reactions than adults

4. Diesel exhaust is possibly/probably one of those compounds likely to cause an immune response.

5. Diesel exhaust is not the only compound more prevalent in "inner cities", that may cause an immune response.

6. Inhabitants of towns and cities are more likely to have traces of diesel exhaust gas in their lungs

7. Analysis of sputum from inner city children suffering from asthma, will show traces of diesel exhaust, but this does not prove the asthma was as a result of diesel exhaust.

Jan 18, 2017 at 5:54 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Golf Charlie
That is an excellent summary. Could I add that as well as changes in the urban environment there have been major changes in agriculture in both crop types and growing methods, for example Oil Seed Rape and Winter Wheat for crops and use of selective weed killers. I don't know how far pollen can travel but would think that it will get to most city centres.

Jan 18, 2017 at 7:27 PM | Unregistered CommenterSandyS

SandyS, funnily enough, oil seed rape was one of the "new" plants that I was thinking of. In the early 1970s (?) when it was first planted regularly, I remember some from the farming community complaining about their mild and occasional hay fever becoming a serious problem. The unofficial consensus at the time was that it was the oil seed rape. It did not set my father off, but he was asked as a known sufferor of hayfever.

In the early 1980s working on farms in school/university holidays, harvesting barley fields always had me itching and scratching. Havesting wheat didn't.

Jan 18, 2017 at 11:12 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

"So Michael it couldn't be phenol or copper something ?
Jan 18, 2017 at 4:41 PM | Registered Commenterstewgreen"

stewgreen, in pollen, no. These are two materials with well studied toxicity/allergen profiles, and are effectively absent in pollen. At least, certainly they usually are at levels well below that which might be suspected to cause problems compared to the same materials in other sources. (Imagine the amount of copper coming out of the taps and your shower head).

The most spectacularly immugenic compounds are usually certain specific proteins or protein fragments, which can prime immune reactions at levels far lower those which might be considered a problem for most compounds. T-cells have been claimed to be able to detect some of them at concentrations as low as ~1-10 molecules per T-cell. That is partly why I found it such an interesting topic to study.

I still like to recall an introductory sentence in the Immunologist's Bible(*) : "It used to be said that Immunologists know everything, yet understand nothing." Though the author then claimed that it had changed, I read on and began to understand why.

(* William E. Paul: Fundamental Immunology. Easily the heaviest book I ever bought in the 1990's, or since. This was also back in the day when you could go to the library and expect a good arm and upper-body workout lifting copies of Chemical Abstracts off the shelves. I would also occasionally go into panic mode when I saw the amount of Immuno-chemistry abstracts alone increasing at a rate much faster than 10 people could read).

Jan 19, 2017 at 5:54 PM | Unregistered Commentermichael hart

I have had for 50 odd years since I was 3, its been mainly seasonal as the main trigger is pollen of various sorts with grass being the biggest reaction. The worst attack I ever had was after a summer thunderstorm, this now seems to be a common issue but I was not aware of it at the time, the A&E's in Birmingham where I was at the time were swamped by cases.

Over the years I have lived in the center of cities and in rural areas etc it has included multiple weeks stays in Shanghai with smog you could cut with a knife. But I have never noted pollution/smog as being a contributor to my attacks, what has changed over the years is the severity and the triggers. The reaction to pollen gets less every year, now I am just as likely to react to damp air and possibly air with spores in the winter.

Jan 19, 2017 at 6:58 PM | Registered CommenterBreath of Fresh Air

Interview with Professor Jonathan Grigg re: Doctors Against Diesel

by Alice Munro | Dec 10, 2016 | Climate & Environment, Doctors Against Diesel, In the News, Videos

Jan 19, 2017 at 8:18 PM | Unregistered Commenternot banned yet

NOx emissions legal limits breached on 5 January, London

by Alice Munro | Jan 6, 2017 | Doctors Against Diesel, Headlines, News, Press Releases

..."Banning diesel cars in London is essential if we are to reduce the amount of avoidable illness caused by nitrogen dioxide.”


page9 Table2 which suggests buses are the biggest problem:


The guide contains a lot of other useful information and data.

Jan 19, 2017 at 8:29 PM | Unregistered Commenternot banned yet