Notes for Editors
Association of British Drivers Seeks Answers on Asthma
With the recent publication of research findings 'proving' that traffic pollution causes asthma, the ABD asks:
- How does this research explain the fact that pollution surveys show air quality has been improving rapidly for over a decade yet asthma cases have risen - does cleaner outdoor air cause asthma?
- Previous reports, e.g. from the Government Chief Medical Officer, have stated that outdoor air pollution does not cause asthma: "there is no correlation between levels of vehicle emissions and asthma incidence" (Dr Kenneth Calman, Department of Health Study on the Causes of Asthma, 1995). What has changed?
- How come doctors report that virtually every inhabitant of the idyllic ocean island of Tristan da Cunha, which has some of he cleanest air on the planet, suffers from asthma?
- Why do asthma studies fail to take into account the findings of Dr Jeff Llewellyn, of the Governmnent Buildings Research Establishment, who has found that the air in the average UK home is 10 times more polluted than city smog?
Bernard Abrams, ABD Environment Spokesman, comments
"There is much talk of 'proof' in the latest sensationalist headlines regarding asthma incidence and traffic emissions, yet every scientist knows that finding a link between two factors is not proof of cause and effect. In the latest case there are many other factors at work that have not been eliminated satisfactorily."
"Like many fellow asthma sufferers I find my symptoms are far worse in the countryside than in towns, making the latest reports even less convincing."
The ABD says: A cynic might think that these types of headline are another example of government inspired media management, at a time when there are strong hints that indirect taxes are about to rise.
Is the motoring public being softened up for another bout of car bashing, due more to political correctness and fiscal expediency than concern for health? Otherwise why is the focus so heavily on cleaner outdoor air when indoor pollution levels are so much higher?