Airborne particulate matter and diesel vehicles in cities - changing perspectives

Ball, David J. ORCID: and Watt, John ORCID: (2016) Airborne particulate matter and diesel vehicles in cities - changing perspectives. ICUR 2016 Proceedings: International Conference on Urban Risks. In: International Conference on Urban Risks (ICUR 2016), 30 Jun - 02 Jul 2016, Lisbon, Portugal. ISBN 9789899509412. [Conference or Workshop Item]

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The last half Century has seen a dramatic turnaround in attitudes to atmospheric particulate emissions including those from diesel-engined road vehicles. In the 1960s it was believed that diesel emissions, then referred to as 'smoke,' were no more than a nuisance in that they obscured visibility and / or appeared unsightly. In 2016 they are seen as contributing significantly to mortality risk in urban areas. This paper traces the evolution of thinking over that time period using London as a case study. It is apparent that there has at times, and for a variety of reasons, been resistance to new knowledge and a reluctance to move on, even though it was for the common good that that be done. Similar contests can be observed with respect to other hazards to which urban inhabitants are exposed.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Additional Information: Conference paper published as:
Ball, David J. and Watt, John (2016) Airborne particulate matter and diesel vehicles in cities - changing perspectives. In: ICUR2016 Proceedings - International Conference on Urban Risks. Teves-Costa P., D. Quino & R.A.C. Garcia (Ed.), CERU - European Centre of Urban Risks, Lisbon, pp. 933-940.
Research Areas: A. > School of Science and Technology > Centre for Decision Analysis and Risk Management (DARM)
Item ID: 20279
Notes on copyright: Permission granted on 30/08/16, by the ICUR 2016 Conference Secretariat to make the full text of the accepted manuscript version available in the Middlesex University Research Repository (
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Depositing User: John Watt
Date Deposited: 01 Aug 2016 11:37
Last Modified: 09 Jun 2021 17:12

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