WHO Warns 9 in 10 Live in High Air Pollution Areas
The World Health Organization says that 92 percent of the world's population lives in areas of high air pollution.
Experts say much of that pollution comes from vehicles fueled by diesel. Many cities in Europe have called for ending the production of diesel cars. They hope to replace them with electric vehicles as battery life for those vehicles improves.
London is one of the most heavily polluted cities in Europe. Levels of harmful gases in the city are regularly higher than limits set by the European Union.
Martin Williams, with King's College London, says pedestrians often do not realize how close they are to air pollution sources because they cannot see them.
"One of the difficulties of getting the message across to the public at large these days is that air pollution, although it's a major public health problem, is actually invisible. Not like the smogs of the 1950s and 60s when not only could you see it, you could barely see anything else."
Williams adds that toxic gases from diesel cars have led to public health concerns. He says people across Great Britain have died too early because of the pollution.
"The main problem that you are breathing in are the particulates, the soot largely from diesel exhausts, which is the primary problem as far as public health is concerned. And that's responsible for maybe up to around 30,000 premature deaths across Britain. The other pollutant that's more recently become an issue is nitrogen dioxide, again largely from diesel."
Last year, officials discovered that German carmaker Volkswagen attempted to cheat on emissions tests on its vehicles. The incident became known as ‘diesel-gate.'
Areeba Hamid is with the environmental group Greenpeace. She says that incident is why many in the automobile industry want to produce electric cars.
"It's quite clear that the car industry is feeling the pressure of a public health crisis owing to air pollution in big cities in particular and the aftermath of the diesel-gate' scandal, which is the reason why it's looking to produce new electric models."
At the Paris Motor Show in September, many of the vehicles on display were electric cars. Volkswagen announced it aims to sell two to three million electric vehicles each year by 2025.
Experts say electric cars could offer the answer to air pollution in major cities. They add, however, that the electricity should be created using renewable energy.
I'm Jonathan Evans.
1.air pollution 空气污染
The air pollution exceeds most acceptable levels by 10 times or more.
2.electric vehicles 电动汽车
China is already thought to have a lead in battery development and electric vehicles.
3.harmful gases 有害气体
These plants are particularly useful for taking in harmful gases in the new house.
4.public health 公共卫生
We have an urgent front-burner public health problem.
1."The main problem that you are breathing in are the particulates, the soot largely from diesel exhausts, which is the primary problem as far as public health is concerned.
as far as 至于；直到
As far as I'm concerned the officials incited the fight.
It only lasted a couple of years, as far as I know.
2.They add, however, that the electricity should be created using renewable energy.
renewable energy 可再生能源
Renewable energy will become progressively more important as time goes on.
The success of wind power represents a litmus test for renewable energy.
专家表示，空气污染主要是以柴油为动力的车辆引起的 。欧洲多个城市呼吁停止柴油汽车的生产 。他们希望，随着电池寿命的不断延长，电动车能够取代柴油车辆 。
伦敦是欧洲污染最严重的城市之一 。伦敦有害气体的指数通常高于欧盟规定的标准 。
伦敦国王学院的马丁·威廉姆斯（Martin Williams）称，人们出行时因为看不见污染源，所以意识不到自己离污染源究竟有多近 。
“让公众全面了解污染问题的难点之一在于，虽然空气污染极大地威胁着公共健康，但空气污染却是不可见的 。现在的空气污染与20世纪50、60年代的烟雾不同，那时人们不仅能看到烟雾，而且除了烟雾什么也看不到 。”
威廉姆斯还提到，柴油车辆排放的有毒尾气导致一系列公共健康问题 。他表示，受空气污染影响，英国人的寿命明显缩短 。
“主要问题在于人们吸入的是柴油机尾气中的颗粒与烟尘，而这也是公众健康最基本的问题 。英国约3万例早产儿死亡也有可能是因此造成的 。近日，同样成为问题的污染物还包括二氧化氮，二氧化氮多半也来自柴油机 。”
去年，有部门发现德国汽车生产商大众试图在尾气测试中造假 。该丑闻被称为“柴油机门” 。
艾利巴·哈密德（Areeba Hamid）在“绿色和平”环保组织任职 。她表示，该起丑闻成为多家汽车厂商希望生产电动汽车的原因 。
“汽车行业显然受到空气污染威胁公众健康的压力，这种现象在大城市中尤其明显 。另外，大众“柴油机丑闻”后，多家厂商开始寻求向新型电动汽车转型 。”
9月份的巴黎汽车展览会上，展台上多数为电动汽车 。大众宣布，截止至2025年，每年将销售200到300万辆电动汽车 。
专家们表示，电动汽车或将缓解大城市的空气污染问题 。然而，专家强调，发电时应该使用可再生能源 。