Study claims sulphur cap will reduce childhood asthma by 3.6% globally

The International Maritime Organization’s 2020 sulphur cap on ship fuel will slash childhood asthma across the world by 3.6%, according to a study led by the University of Delaware.

The study was carried out in association with the Finnish Meteorological Institute (FMI), Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) in New York and Energy and Environmental Research Associates.

There are around 14m annual cases of childhood asthma linked to global ship pollution using current fuels, the study claimed. The change to cleaner ship fuels will reduce ship-related childhood asthma cases by half.

The new IMO rule will decrease the allowable amount of sulphur in bunker from 3.5%to 0.5%.

“Cleaner ships fuels help people who don’t have an economic role in the pollution they are suffering, some in places that aren’t engaged in trade at all, as well as communities located along major shipping lanes,” said James Corbett, a professor at the University of Delaware.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.
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