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Exposure to Particulate Matter on Cruise Ships Examined in New Study

September 3, 2019 Cruise, Headline News No Comments Email Email

A new study was released earlier this year that examined exposure to particulate matter (PM) on cruise ships traveling the West Coast and Caribbean. An investigation of air pollution on the decks of 4 cruise ships was authored by an associate professor from the Bloomberg School of Public Health at John Hopkins University.

The study measured PM concentrations on four popular cruise ships in an effort to examine how it impacts air quality. Measurements were taken during different times of the day at sea and when the ships were in port from the same locations on the bows and sterns of the vessels. According to the report, the PM could be from multiple sources; these include cruise ship engine exhausts and generator exhausts from laundry facilities and other manmade sources. Natural sources could come from dust particles in the wind, as well as salt or water particles in the air.

“This study found PM pollution at times to be as bad as some of the most polluted cities in the world,” said Joe Frasca, Senior Vice President of Marketing at EMSL Analytical, Inc. “Exposure to elevated levels of ultrafine particles is a potential concern on a cruise ship, construction site and in areas with heavy traffic. Diesel particulate matter (DPM) and diesel exhaust (DE) contain a mixture of gases and very small particles that can reach deep into the lungs. Short-term exposure to high concentrations of DPM and DE can cause headaches, dizziness and irritation of the eye, nose and throat. Prolonged exposure can increase the risk of developing cardiovascular, cardiopulmonary and respiratory diseases, as well as lung cancer. At EMSL, we provide air testing analysis to help identify PM in all types of settings using the most advanced instrumentation available. EMSL’s Product Division also provides access to the industry’s leading particle counters.”

EMSL has sponsored an educational video about diesel exhaust, particulate matter and air quality issues that can be seen at: https://youtu.be/mAjDvBwKFWE.

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