The new buses of Budapest are almost cleaning the air

The results of measurements made by Clean Air Action Group (CAAG) prove, that the new buses bought by the Budapest public transport company (BKV) practically do not emit those air polluting particles, which are considered the most damaging to human health. At the same time the old buses are still polluting the city's air. Péter Lenkei, Head of CAAG’s Environmental Advisory Office gave information on this topic at a press conference made on the occasion of the European Car-Free Day.

Clean Air Action Group measured the particle emission of BKV's old and new buses with a particle counter device in the commission of BKK. In the case of the old buses it was observed, that when they got 30 meters from the device, and by the time the attenuated cloud of particles reached the measuring point, the measured number of particles exceeded the upper limit of the device's measuring range during several seconds, i.e. 500 000 particles per cubic centimetre. On the other hand, in the case of the new EURO VI buses, the values measured in the exhaust pipes were not higher than in the relatively clean surrounding air (about 5000 particles per cubic centimetre), sometimes the values were even lower.

World Health Organizaton (WHO) cannot define a threshold for the concentration of particles in the case of diesel engines, under which they do not impair human health. These particles are proven to be carcinogenic. Imbibed, they can settle in the lowest part of the lungs. Dangerous substances stuck on these particles cause inflammation on the surface of the alveloi, and spreading over to the veins it can cause diseases of the cardiovascular system through thrombus formation, as well as asthma, or allergy. These subtle particles can also cause internal haemorrhage in the lung, as it was proven by experiments on rats.

These delicate particles are responsible for the premature death of about 16 000 persons in a year in Hungary, and these people lose 10 years from their lives on the average. On the account of particle caused diseases, 2.6 million working days fell out in the year 2010, and the predictions for the year 2015 show similar numbers according to the European Environment Agency.

Clean Air Action Group welcomes the effort of BKK and BKV to replace the old buses with modern ones, in this manner improving the condition of the environment and the health of the people in Budapest. At the same time CAAG urges the Government to ensure the financial resources for the bus replacement as soon as possible.

The particle counter device for the measurements was provided to Clean Air Action Group by Evopro.