INTRODUCTION: Countries in the European Economic Community (EEC) have been planning to make the continent cleaner and healthier -- a project aimed at reducing air and water pollution.
GV Square in Ghent with Cathedral in background
GV/SV Minibuses and number plates (3 shots)
CU EEC Common research centre sign
GV Factory PAN ZOOM OUT tents and caravans on monitoring station
SV Research bus with equipment (3 shots)
SCU Scientist using walkie-talkie radio
GV Factory and fields
SV PAN INTERIOR Van with monitoring equipment
GV TRACKING SHOT Monitoring van along road (2 shots)
GV TILT UP, ZOOM IN Research balloon
SV Launching model plane to measure air ozone level with controller (3 shots)
SCU Man launching balloon to measure wind speed and direction
GV Radar, for tracking monitoring balloon and balloon launching
SV Graph machine recording data
SV TRACKING SHOT Interior of mini-bus
GV Factory chimneys
GV PAN Model aircraft landing
LV TRACKING SHOT Minibus on motorway
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Background: INTRODUCTION: Countries in the European Economic Community (EEC) have been planning to make the continent cleaner and healthier -- a project aimed at reducing air and water pollution. The programme, launched seven years ago, is also seeking to cut down noise, study safer and more economic ways of waste disposal and promote better coordination between development planning and environmental protection schemes.
SYNOPSIS: Scientists from Italy, West Germany, Holland and other countries completed the EEC's fifth research into air pollution and environment conditions on Friday (26 June) at the medieval city of Ghent in Belgium. Experiment were carried out in a highly industrialised area to study the spreading and concentration of sulphur dioxide, known as SO2. Sulphur air pollution at high concentrations can affect the health of human beings. In some cases it's believed to cause bronchitis and other respiratory diseases. And studies prove that exposure to this pollution will shorten the human life-span.
During their two weeks of study, these scientists could tell that a wind coming from the east contained some SO2 from Antwerp's industrial area, about 50 kilometres (30 miles) away. The difficulty of knowing the precise movement of the wind was helped by balloons, launched to measure wind speeds and direction.
Model aircraft were sent up to measure what effect the sulphur dioxide as on ozone in the atmosphere. The little planes radioed information back to ground where it was fed into a computer. Sulphur dioxide pollution can be carried many hundreds of kilometres by winds, each country adding its contribution to the poisonous cloud. Depending on weather conditions, the cloud can move across Europe like a conveyor belt, picking up pollution from every country it passes. It then falls to earth in dry deposits or as acid rain or snow.
Some countries are more afflicted than others in this exchange. Norway, the worst affected, has been sending up more than 90,000 tonnes of pollution a year and has received 250,000 tonnes back. At the other end of the scale, Britain is said to be Europe's major source of sulphur dioxide pollution.
In Ghent, vehicles were on constant patrol collecting information on air temperatures, air turbulence and the amount of ozone in the atmosphere.
Sulphur pollution is caused when fuels containing small amounts of sulphur are burned. Power stations burning coal and oil are the major sources of air contamination. Many countries are trying to reduce these polluting sulphur emissions. But with increasing energy consumption, clean fuel supplies may not be enough to meet future levels of demand.