2 October 2019
Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs)
Population exposure
River and maritime transport
Reports and case studies

An Investigation of Air Pollution on the Decks of 4 Cruise Ships

Couverture du rapport

Ship exhaust contains harmful constituents, including metals and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), many of which have toxic, mutagenic and/ or carcinogenic properties. There is strong evidence that ship engine exhaust impacts air quality in port and coastal cities, but little is known about how ship engine exhaust may impact the air quality on the deck of a ship. This is of concern because tens of millions of passengers take cruises every year, and tens of thousands of people are employed on cruise ships. This study measured the concentration of PM on the decks of four ships. The findings of this study demonstrate that a source of PM—likely, in part from the ship’s exhaust system—is contributing to poorer air quality in the stern areas of these cruise ships. Concentrations of PM on the decks of these ships are comparable to concentrations measured in polluted cities, including Beijing and Santiago. Despite being on the open water and in open air, vacationers and cruise ship staff may be exposed to elevated concentrations of PM.


Author : Ryan David Kennedy, Johns Hopkins University, Bloomberg School of Public Health 

Documents for download
2019_report_air_pollution_cruise_ships.pdf ( application/pdf , 3.79 MB )

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