A limit on benzene

Published: Friday 15 January 1999

-- the European Commission ( ec ) is about to approve plans to clean up air quality. It plans to impose strict limits on benzene and carbon monoxide emissions. The new benchmarks will force European governments to curb benzene and carbon monoxide emissions from vehicles and industrial plants, said a senior ec official. The commission is currently evaluating how much these measures would cost, but legislation could be approved next year, said J Huntington, a member of environment commissioner R Bjerregaard's team.

The plans are designed to cut atmospheric benzene, a suspected carcinogen, from 40 micrograms per cubic metre to five micrograms per cubic metre by 2010. Carbon monoxide emissions would be reduced to 10 micrograms. If approved, national governments would have to enact domestic measures to meet the national requirements, said Huntington.

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