Jerusalem’s Central Bus Station 311.
(photo credit: Michael Melech)
The air at the Jerusalem’s central bus station where passengers line up for
buses is excessively polluted and endangers public health, the Environment
Ministry said on Thursday.
It passed its findings on to the Health
Ministry, the municipality, the station’s ownership and the Egged bus
The levels of carbon monoxide, which is a marker for dirty
air from vehicles, are high and must be reduced, the Environment Ministry
The Health Ministry and the Jerusalem Municipality said they were
not involved and that the Environment Ministry was in charge of the
That ministry issued a public warning that bus travelers from and
to the capital should not spend more time than necessary in the station’s bus
terminals. Last year, the building was fined NIS 708,224 for air pollution, but
the matter is stuck in the courts.
The carbon monoxide is produced by the
diesel engines in the buses, which release higher amounts of dangerous inhaled
particulate matter and larger particles, as well as gases, than cleaner-fuel
buses, the Environment Ministry said. This violates clean-air
Exposure to high levels of such pollutants can in the short term
cause eyes to burn and discomfort to the nose and throat, respiratory
difficulties, headaches, nausea and vomiting. In the long run, they can cause
disease complications to the respiratory system including asthma attacks and
acute and chronic bronchitis.
The Environment Ministry said it would
update the public regarding Jerusalem’s central bus station on a daily basis