Flickr: Camelia TWU

Flickr: Camelia TWU

Researchers in London have found that diesel contributes up to half of the total of hazardous air pollutants in the English capital.

The worrying findings mean that the UK’s emissions inventory – a database that lists the amount of air pollutants in the atmosphere during a given time period by source – is severely underestimated.

The underestimations are significant because national emissions estimates drive national policy.

And as diesel use in the UK is within the European average, the authors say this underestimation is likely the case across the EU.

The findings were a result of two, five-week studies in London as part of the Clean Air for London project.