Lung doctors for more pollution? – A Q&A on the debate about limit values

Last week in Germany, retired pulmonary physician Dieter Köhler made waves by publishing a statement, signed by over one hundred other fellow lung doctors, calling into question the science behind air quality standards and suggesting that current EU-wide limits for nitrogen oxides and fine particulate matter are unnecessarily strict. Not coincidentally, this comes at a time when diesel driving bans are being imposed in many German cities because of their inability to meet the EU-wide limit value for nitrogen dioxide (NO2), for which diesel cars are the main source. This has sparked debate on many levels, from the journalistic to the political. In this blog post we specifically address the topic of air quality limit values based on our expertise in the fields of air quality and public health.

Health professionals joining the frontline of sustainable development

As an health professional, I see that health needs to be viewed in a much broader perspective than the mere absence of disease, and that well-being is clearly connected to the healthy planet we inhabit. My research on air pollution and health aims to reveal the extent to which our well-being is related to our environment, and to show how important it is that we care for the latter.