Moses Asaga Health impact of 'dirty diesel' is a 'blatant exaggeration' - NPA boss

A report by Public Eye has accused Swiss firms for their links to the trade of diesel in Africa that contain high Sulphur considered illegal in Europe.

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The Chief Executive of the National Petroleum Authority (NPA) Moses Asaga has downplayed the impact of diesel with high toxin level being imported into the country.

A report by Public Eye has accused Swiss firms for their links to the trade of diesel in Africa that contain high Sulphur considered illegal in Europe.

Sulphur is a major contributor to air pollution which the World Health Organisation has said account for many diseases such as cancer and heart and respiratory illness.

According to the International Energy Agency (IEA) air pollution is one of the world’s largest threat to human health, claiming nearly 6.5 million lives every year. That makes it the fourth-largest threat to human health after high blood pressure, dietary risks and smoking.

Dirty fuel is also a major cause of the short lifespan of cars in Africa compared to those in other regions.

Nonetheless, the NPA boss believes people are exaggerating the health impact of high sulpur containing diesel.

“It is a blatant exaggeration to say that millions of people are being affected by that. We have sought permission from the EPA and that the emission test of Ghanaian vehicles which use diesel has so far been considered to be in the acceptable range,” he told Citi FM.

According the World Bank, air pollution costs the global economy some 5.1 trillion dollars annually.

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It said exposure to air pollution is now the fourth leading fatal health risk worldwide behind metabolic risks, dietary risks, and tobacco smoke.

In a reported titled, “The Cost of Air Pollution: Strengthening the economic case for action,” World Bank said if deaths across all age groups were analyzed "through the lens of 'welfare losses'" then the aggregate global cost of early deaths in 2013 was over $5 trillion.

Drawing on a World Health Organisation data in 2013, the report said premature deaths alone cost the global economy about $225 billion in lost work days. The estimates do not include the costs of treating illnesses linked to pollution.



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