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New Study: Air behind cruise ship smokestacks highly polluted

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Air pollution on cruise ship decks may be as bad as in cities like Beijing and Santiago, Chile, according to a new study from researchers at Johns Hopkins University.

The study measured pollution levels on the decks of four cruise ships — Carnival Liberty, Carnival Freedom, Holland America MS Amsterdam, and Emerald Princess — in front of and behind the ship's smokestacks. The researchers found that concentrations of particulate matter pollution on the decks of the observed ships was similar to levels found in Beijing, Santiago, and Antwerp, Belgium. (The study defines particular matter pollution as "small solids or liquid droplets suspended in the air.") Pollution behind the smokestacks, including in areas intended for exercises like basketball courts and running tracks, was much worse than in front of the smokestacks, according to the study.

Of the ships monitored in the study, Emerald Princess was found to have the highest average concentration of particulate matter pollution both in front of and behind its smokestacks.

Particulate matter pollution can harm the heart and lungs, especially particles that measure less than 10 micrometers in diameter, since they can travel further into the lungs. Most of the particulate matter pollution in ship exhaust measures less than one micrometer in diameter, which can make people more vulnerable to contracting atherosclerosis and developing more severe asthma, the study said.

By Mark Matousek, Business Insider
Re-posted on CruiseCrazies.com - Cruise News, Articles, Forums, Packing List, Ship Tracker, and more
For more cruise news and articles go to https://www.cruisecrazies.com

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USA Today has the same piece, but expanded it with comments from the cruise industry, basically saying that the EPA regularly tests cruise ship emissions and citing the strides that the industry has made in environmental issues and improving the quality of emissions. The Johns Hopkins report was apparently published by an environmental watchdog group, "Stand.Earth", and Carnival didn't have much good to say, stating, "This particular organization, for fundraising purposes, is constantly in search of a problem in our industry even if it has to create fake tests that really have no scientific basis."  I do agree with another factor pointed out in the USA Today article by the folks at CLIA ... that the cruise industry is just a small piece of the tourism and shipping pie. But it's always the cruise ships that are blamed.

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