Prague - Car traffic exhaust fumes increasingly poison Czech air, says the latest Report on the Environment in the Czech Republic, submitted to the cabinet every year.
"The impact of traffic on air quality keeps increasing. What is alarming is the year-on-year growth in greenhouse gas emissions and dust particle volumes," says the document made available to Aktuálně.cz.
The report was written by the Czech Environmental Information Agency (CENIA) in cooperation with the Transport Research Centre and other institutions.
Environment Minister Martin Bursík submitted a draft study on the environment for 2007 to his cabinet colleagues for comments at the beginning of the European Mobility Week, which will peak with the In Town Without My Car day on 22 September.
The campaign, in which a record-high 87 Czech towns and cities are taking part, is designed to highlight the negative impact of car transport and to offer environmentally friendlier modes of transport.
Dust causes cancer
Tiny dust particles emerging from exhaust pipes and through tyre and brake friction can settle deep inside the respiratory apparatus.
Besides various inflammations, they may also cause cancer as other harmful elements, including cancerous substances, get tied to the small particles.
The amount of dust from cars has been growing unprecedentedly in the past 15 years. "Solid pollutants have shown the sharpest growth since 1993," the study reads.
Greenhouse gas emissions growing
The Report on the Environment for 2007 also highlights the failure to curb greenhouse gas emissions due to an increasing volume of car and air transport in recent years.
"The decrease in greenhouse gas emissions has stopped, and their volume has been growing moderately since 2005. The unfavourable trend is due above all to growing emissions from transport," says the report.
In 1990, transport emissions made up 4% of the total amount of Czech greenhouse gas. The share has grown to about 13% by now.
"The year 2007 brought a growth in the volumes of individual car transport (by 2.7%) and air transport (by 2.4%), which contributed to a further increase in the environmental burden," the document says.
This means the air transport volume last year almost quadrupled against 1989.
Czechs have over 4m cars
The latest set of data shows the Czech car registry grew by 4.2% to 4.28 million cars in 2007.
Lorry numbers grew even faster - by 14%. Czech hauliers now have more than half a million lorries.
Good news is scarce. The environmental study says the freight road transport volume fell by 4.4% last year, while freight railway transport volumes added 3.3%.
Adapted and republished by Prague Daily Monitor.