Diesel fumes more damaging to health than petrol engines | Exhaust Gas | Air Pollution

Adapted from an article in the Guardian by John Vidal on 27 January 2013.

GAP FILL & SHORT ANSWERS: Do the Gap Fill exercise first, then answer the questions in note form. Diesel fumes are significantly more damaging than __________ (1) from petrol engines, ___________ (2) to research which shows that related air pollution contributes ___________ (3) lung disease, heart attacks, asthma and other respiratory problems. The findings, published _________ (4) the Department for Energy and Climate Change, are __________ (5) embarrassement for successive governments, __________ (6) have encouraged a switch to diesel ___________ (7) 2001 by linking road and company car tax to CO2 emissions. Diesel engines have been billed __________ (8) “green” by car makers, governments and environmental groups ___________ (9) they are more fuel efficient and emit _________ (10) CO2 than petrol. Vehicles with low fuel economy and high CO2 emissions are further penalised by higher fuel duty tax, while diesels with the lowest CO2 emissions are not subject _________ (11) road tax or congestion charges. Insurance premiums are also affected by cars' CO2 status. Last year, diesel car sales overtook those of petrol-fuelled cars ___________ (12) the first time. Petrol car sales are now 15% lower than in 2011. The government accepts that air pollution _________ (13) all sources contributes to _________ (14) 30,000 deaths ________ (15) year in Britain. __________ , (16) the research estimates that diesel-related health problems cost the NHS more than ten times as much as comparable problems __________ (17) by petrol fumes. Last year, the UN's World Health Organisation declared that diesel exhaust caused cancer and was comparable _________ (18) its effects to secondary cigarette smoking. Anti-pollution groups, already furious that the government has failed to meet EU air pollution legal limits, say no account is being _________ (19) of the health damage done by diesel fumes because CO2 emissions ________ (20) seen as the sole benchmark (standard) for environmental responsibility Last week. Simon Birkett, founder of the Campaign for Clean Air in London watchdog group, accused the government _________ (21) deliberately exacerbating health problems by in effect subsidising diesel. “Successive governments have known all ________ (22) the health problems of diesel but have failed to react and have covered them _________ (23). They have known for a long time that diesel is the main source of pollution in cities and have continued to subsidise _________ (24),” he said. Air pollution from all sources, including transport, was calculated by the Commons environmental audit committee to cost Britain up __________ (25) £20bn a year. “ Air quality is a hidden killer but it’s not _________ (26) anyone’s radar and its costs are not factored in by the Treasury. This is the unintended consequence of ignoring it,” said Joan Walley, the committee’s chair. Partly as a result of the rising number of diesel vehicles, London is regularly failing to meet EU air pollution targets, say experts. “Emission regulations have been ineffective ________ (27) diesel cars,” said Martin Williams, chair of the UN convention __________ (28) long-range transboundary air pollution. “Levels of nitrogen oxide emissions for __________ (29), haven’t fallen significantly over the past 20 years.” A Campaign for Clean Air in London report, due to _________ (30) published next month, will claim that car company figures for diesel pollution are unreliable and that actual emissions are actually far greater. “Just as most drivers struggle to match a car’s official fuel economy figures in everyday driving, emissions of air pollutants in real world driving conditions differ __________ (31) those suggested by the vehicle’s (Euro) standards.” it will say. A 2011 test by government to measure emissions from vehicles in everyday use concluded that, while petrol emissions had improved by 96%, emissions of nitrogen oxide from diesel cars and light goods vehicles have _________ (32) decreased for the past 15-20 years. A spokesman for London said:“The congestion charge was designed to reduce traffic ________ (33) than pollution. It is not an overriding objective to reduce pollution rather than congestion.” Major cities in India and elsewhere have become increasingly aware of the health costs of diesel exhausts and are considering imposing higher taxes on diesel cars or even banning them fron city centres.

Short answers. Answer the following questions in note form.


What serious condition can be caused by diesel exhausts?

________________________________________________________________________ 2 What duty has been decreased for diesel-fuelled cars?

________________________________________________________________________ 3 What can the damaging effects of diesel exhausts be compared with?

________________________________________________________________________ 4 Which standard is considered the main culprit for lower prices of diesel cars?

________________________________________________________________________ 5 What negative consequences does the lower price of diesel have?

________________________________________________________________________ 6 Have the MPs been introduced to the health hazards of diesel?

________________________________________________________________________ 7 Does the level of air pollution in Great Britain meet European standards?

_________________________________________________________________________ 8 Levels of what emissions have not changed since the 1990s?

_________________________________________________________________________ 9 What have car manufacturers been accused of?

__________________________________________________________________________ 10 What does the congestion charge aim at?



KEY to Gap Fill 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 those according to by an which since as because less to for from about/ approximately a/per However caused with taken are of about up it to on for on example/instance be from not rather

KEY to Short Answers
(Suggested answers)

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

lung disease / heart attack / asthma .... road tax / congestion charges secondary smoking CO2 emissions health problems Yes No nitrogen oxide unreliability / cheating traffic reduction

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