Nitrogen oxides - pulmonary doctors have miscalculated - health

  • The position paper of the pulmonary physicians in January marginalized the health hazards of nitrogen oxides and particulate matter.
  • Now the daily has taz Calculation error found in the argument.
  • Federal Transport Minister Scheuer, who had already questioned the current limits, did not want to comment on the new developments.

From Hanno Charisius and Markus Balser

Two years ago, Dieter Köhler began to peddle his idea. In e-mails with a conspiratorial undertone, the physician turned to journalists, wrote of uncomfortable truth search and put in more emails that is that with the fine dust and the nitrogen oxides everything is so half wild. He described the reports on the health effects of air pollutants as "fake news". Journalists who did not want to report on his hair-raising calculations and comparisons, he assumed, the topic "want to keep silent," like most ".

It took a while before he was heard by German newspapers, radio stations and talk shows. Last year, he was able to spread his calculations and his views on limits. His popularity culminated in a paper in January in which he and a good hundred other pulmonary physicians again marginalized the health risks of nitrogen oxides and particulate matter. In addition, the group criticized large-scale population studies that quantify health damage caused by air pollutants.

Psychology Ideology has triumphed over science

Ideology has triumphed over science

The dispute over limits for bad air is embittered and largely ideological. There are convincing studies that warn against health hazards.Comment by Werner Bartens


By way of comparison, the signatories of the Opinion drew heavy smokers who inhale far greater levels of pollutants from cigarettes than people who travel by road and yet do not "die off after a few months." Now the daily has taz revealed that Köhler and his followers had miscalculated.

According to Köhler's argument, a person living on a busy street for life gets as many pollutants as a smoker can do in a few months. Inspired by a reader's note, the expected taz and came to another rather frightening conclusion: "Anyone living on a busy street breathes as much nitric oxide during a lifetime of 80 years as a heavy smoker does in six to 32 years." When asked about these and other miscalculations, Köhler is told that taz said: "This has not noticed anyone yet." Apparently also none of the other 100 signatories and signatories of his opinion. On request of SZ explained Köhler, not only he, but also the taz have miscalculated, but in summary, the basic statements have not changed.

But even independently of the now discovered payment turnarounds and Köhler's questionable comparisons, his arguments were scientifically sound. The criticism of international experts on the paper by Dieter Köhler and his three most important co-authors, including Matthias Klingner, head of the Fraunhofer Institute for Transportation and Infrastructure Systems in Dresden, and the head of the Institute of Piston Machines at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology was correspondingly harsh , Thomas Koch, who used to develop engines for Daimler.

The International Lung Society Forum, FIRS, said in a statement that the existing EU-wide limits would not be mitigated. "Although the lung is most affected by air pollution, it also damages other organ systems and worsens chronic diseases," the text says. Cancer, heart disease, neonatal damage and dementia are associated with air pollution, "especially particles with a diameter of less than 2.5 microns and other diesel exhaust gases are responsible." Damage would be "even below the limits."

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