Max-Planck-Institute of agriculture as the main source of fine particulate pollution

A new study from the Mainz Max-Planck-Institute for chemistry in Germany speaks of about 120,000 premature deaths due to fine dust. The main polluter: a polluter is agriculture.

According to a previously unpublished study, the number of premature deaths in Germany by fine dust is significantly higher than assumed. The “tagesschau” reported on basis of the ARD-magazine “Monitor”. The latest study of the Max-Planck-Institute based on 40 international studies from 16 different countries. The data collection should be gone over the decades.

“The Data basis for this study has increased enormously,” said the head of the study, Professor Jos Lelieveld. “This is one of the reasons that we come to these higher Figures.” 120,000 people will die prematurely because of fine dust – which roughly corresponds to the number of premature deaths due to Smoking.

Main causes: agriculture

With a share of 45 percent of the main causes is in Germany for the Max-Planck-Institute: the agriculture, especially factory farming. Thus, ammonia emissions from agriculture should be for around 50,000 premature deaths. “The mass of animal husbandry leads to ammonia, ammonia, leads to particulate matter and fine dust leads to premature deaths,” argued Lelieveld.

For professionals, this is nothing New. For years the connection between mass animal husbandry and fine dust exposure is known. Air measuring stations provided the evidence. Be measured in the district of Cloppenburg regularly higher emission values than in large cities such as Hannover. The reason: the district of Cloppenburg is situated in the pork belt in lower Saxony.

Already in 2001, something should be on the Situation has changed. Germany committed itself to limit ammonia emissions from 2012. However, the value lies for years, 20 percent above the agreed limit of 550,000 tons.

The German farmers Association disputes the results of the study

The German farmers ‘ Association disputed the results of the study. “These speculations, I think that is speculation, not do I get involved,” said Eberhard Hartelt, the environmental officer of the German farmers ‘ Association. The “daily show” that, endeavour of the farmers Association to reduce the ammonia emissions.

Study leader Lelieveld, defended his study. This was only “a growth of knowledge, indicating that the health effect of fine dust is actually much stronger than we thought.” Also, the Professor Dr. Thomas Münzel, medical Director at the University clinic of Mainz, expressed his concern: “fine dust leads to lung and cardiovascular diseases. The high number of premature deaths must immediately have political consequences.“ One possibility would be to Münzel, to reduce European limits to the us limits.

More experts called for a reduction of animal stocks. On the other hand, the commitment to the use of technical measures for the reduction of the ammonia load for large farms. Filter systems in the stables, or the slurry basin, for example, could reduce the outgassing.