Faulty or missing Diesel Particulate Filters (DPFs) kill, a lobbying group has warned the government, calling for a more rigorous MOT testing of DPFs.
The Westminster Commission for Road Air Quality (WCRAQ) – a non-government commission set up and chaired by Huddersfield MP Barry Sheerman, estimates that such a measure could save the UK around 1000 tonnes of the most toxic particulate matter PM2.5 every year, based on research carried out in the Netherlands.
The group estimates that 10 percent of diesel cars have damaged, faulty, tampered with, or unlawfully removed DPF filters. The result is that the combustion soot particles, which are hazardous to human health, are not captured by the filter and released into the air we breathe.
The organisation makes the point that the Dutch Government has justified introducing a DPF efficiency test as part of its Periodic Technical Inspections (PTI – similar to the UK MOT) . The plans – coming into operation from July 2022 – include identifying the testing equipment needed to measure DPF efficiency, plus the costs to equip inspection garages across the Netherlands.
Dr James Tate, Associate Professor at the University of Leeds and WCRAQ Chair of Research, commented: “We fear a significant amount of the very fine particles from diesel combustion are now coming from damaged or tampered DPFs. They shouldn’t be in the air we all breathe. The testing equipment technology to identify failing DPFs is available for a reasonable cost, and the UK should make it an absolute priority to tighten diesel MOT testing in the shortest possible time.”
Barry Sheerman, MP for Huddersfield and Chair of WCRAQ, commented: “More rigorous assessments of vehicle emissions levels would mitigate the harmful health impacts of high roadside air pollution and, in turn, save lives. We will continue to relay to the Government the merits of the successes from the Netherlands and bring attention to best practice elsewhere”.
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