Cruise ship passengers inhale 200 times higher polluted air

Published on : Thursday, February 2, 2017

Celebrity CruisesNaturschutzbund Deutschland (NABU), a German environmental association brought out a research which shows cruise ship passengers could be inhaling “60 times higher concentrations of harmful air pollutants ” than they would in natural air settings.


The concentration of harmful ultra-fine particles was up to 200 times higher than it would be in natural fresh air surroundings and 20 times worse than in the busy city centres of some port cities as per the research.


Daniel Rieger, a transport policy officer and researcher for NABU said that the longest recording was conducted for a time of almost 50 minutes where an average of 60,000 particles per cubic centimetre of air was documented. As a comparison: a fresh sea breeze at that altitude should usually be at around 1,000 – 2,000 particles at maximum. Therefore, passengers inhaled 60 times higher concentrations of harmful air pollutants.



Following the results, the German Lung Association and the Pneumologists Association warned the cruise passengers for not staying on deck or inhaling ships’ exhaust gases. If done, it could cause acute exacerbations of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), specially for those who suffer from lung diseases.



Currently there are no nitrogen emission control areas (NECA) in European waters. The only regulations that the vessels need to comply with are the sulphur emission control areas (SECA). The sulphur content should not exceed 0.1 per cent according to the regulations. Although systems that reduce particle and nitrogen oxide emissions have been available on the market for years, cruise companies have been unwilling to install these mechanisms, which require more expensive types of fuel to operate, the NABU says.


Princess Cruises, one of 10 brands owned by the world’s largest cruise holiday company, was ordered to pay a $40 million (£32 million) fine for illegally dumping thousands of gallons of oil and waste off the UK coast in last December.

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One Response to Cruise ship passengers inhale 200 times higher polluted air

  1. Deddy Geese says:

    To really put this research into prospective:
    One cruise ships emits as many air pollutants as five million cars on the same distance!
    Source NABU.
    recycling, incinerating and waste-processing on cruise ships does not quite cut it.
    When CLIA announces that 97 new ships will cruise the oceans in the 10 years well you do the math.

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