Sea Traffic Main Culprit for Coastal Areas’ Pollution: Study

The gentle sea breeze that attracts so many people to live near the coast may not be very pure and fresh as many imagine. The air along the coastal area is filled with nanoparticles that can precipitate serious lungs and cardiac diseases.

When we talk about air pollution, we talk about heavy transport vehicles and automobiles which emit tons of black smoke with suspended nanoparticles. But what about sea traffic? You may be surprised to know that sea traffic accounts for half the air pollution, and it also emits lethal nano-particles according to a new study.

The air all along the sea coasts is choked with nanoparticles and it comes from the sea traffic emissions according to a study. The rest is from emissions from automobiles, industrial smoke, and biomass combustion.

Adam Kristensson, one of the researchers from Lund University in Sweden said that this is the first time a serious attempt has been made to calculate the proportion of nanoparticles being emitted from sea traffic.

Earlier it was assumed that land-based pollution from the countries in Europe accounted for a major portion of this pollution coupled with natural particles from the surface of the sea.

Nanoparticles are more lethal than large particles because of their size. They can easily penetrate deeper into the lungs and can cause cardiovascular as well as pulmonary ailments. In fact, just one cubic centimeter can contain several thousand nanoparticles.

Researchers examined the air flow from the measuring outpost in South Sweden as it passes over the Baltic Sea to the measuring station on the Lithuanian Coast. By comparing the readings from both these outposts’ researchers were able to calculate the nanoparticles emitted by vehicles on the land and those from the sea traffic.

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