Norway farming emissions contravene UN emissions levels, possible health hazard / News / The Foreigner

Norway farming emissions contravene UN emissions levels, possible health hazard. Amounts of some health-harming poisonous gases Norway has released have exceeded levels set by the Gothenburg protocol, statistics show. The 1999 UN Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) Gothenburg Protocol, revised last year, is designed to moderateacidification, nutrients concentration levels (eutrophication) – where too many of these lead to fish death due to algae growth-induced oxygen level reduction – and ground-level ozone amounts. Adopted on 30 November, it set emission ceiling-levels for four pollutants for 2010 due to their harmful effects on living organisms, including humans.

norwayenvironment, pollutionnorway



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Norway farming emissions contravene UN emissions levels, possible health hazard

Published on Monday, 4th February, 2013 at 15:44 under the news category, by Michael Sandelson   .
Last Updated on 4th February 2013 at 16:02.

Amounts of some health-harming poisonous gases Norway has released have exceeded levels set by the Gothenburg protocol, statistics show.

Pollution
Pollution
Photo: Dr. Keats/Flickr


The 1999 UN Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) Gothenburg Protocol, revised last year, is designed to moderateacidification, nutrients concentration levels (eutrophication) – where too many of these lead to fish death due to algae growth-induced oxygen level reduction – and ground-level ozone amounts.

Adopted on 30 November, it set emission ceiling-levels for four pollutants for 2010 due to their harmful effects on living organisms, including humans.

These are NOx (nitrogen oxides), sulphur dioxide (SO2), ammonia (NH3), non-methane volatile organic carbons (NMVOCs) and carbon monoxide (CO).

In their 2011 emissions estimates for the gases concerning the period from 1990 up until that year, Statistics Norway (SSB) officials write that the NH3 and levels are “well above” limits set by the protocol – 14 percent.

Emissions of ammonia are not to exceed 23,000 tonnes per year, according to the Gothenburg Protocol. Excessive NH3 levels spur eutrophication. They were 26,200 tonnes in 2011.

For NOx, the limit is 156,000 tonnes. 178,000 tonnes were emitted in Norway in the same year.

“NOx emissions also exceed the obligations in the protocol,” (also 14 percent) SSB officials report.

Nitrogen oxides also play a part in eutrophication. Moreover, too-high amounts of NOx also – particularly NO2 – raises the risk of respiratory disease by contributing to forming ground-level ozone.

Whilst ozone is beneficial in the atmosphere, breathing in ground-level ozone can trigger a variety of health problems.

The US Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) writes that, “These include chest pain, coughing, throat irritation, and congestion. It can worsen bronchitis, emphysema, and asthma.”

“Ground-level ozone also can reduce lung function and inflame the linings of the lungs. Repeated exposure may permanently scar lung tissue.”

At the same time, Norway has not exceeded the Gothenburg Protocol’s limits for non-methane volatile organic carbons (NMVOCs) and sulphur dioxide (SO2).

NMVOC covers a broad group of chemically different compounds. Some of these are benzene – contained in crude oil – and known human carcinogen formaldehyde.

NMVOCs are linked to air pollution. Harmful effects of exceeding the NMVOC ceiling might contribute to the formation of ground-level ozone.

Statistics Norway’s (SSB) figures show NMVOC emissions from the hydrocarbon industry have actually fallen markedly since their peak in 2001, however.

Some challenges do remain regarding air pollution, though, including health effects caused by sulphur dioxide. Too much sulphur dioxide could raise the chances of getting respiratory complaints.

Finally, carbon monoxide (CO) levels – though with no quantified emissions ceiling under the Gothenburg Protocol – were 311,000 tonnes in Norway 2011, according to the SSB.

Excessive carbon monoxide increases the risk of heart problems in people with cardiovascular diseases.




Published on Monday, 4th February, 2013 at 15:44 under the news category, by Michael Sandelson   .
Last updated on 4th February 2013 at 16:02.

This post has the following tags: norwayenvironment, pollutionnorway.





  
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