Shipping emissions are an invisible killer that cause lung cancer and heart disease, a new study has found, but researchers say the 60,000 deaths they cause each year could be significantly cut by exhaust filtration devices.
In the Bangladesh port city of Chittagong, activists want the EU to get tough on the booming ship recycling industry that has become notorious for its poor labour and environmental safety records. New EU legislation is already in the making and could be finalised in June.
A European crackdown on pollution from ships will require billions worth of investment by shipping firms on filter technology and by refineries on upgrades to produce cleaner fuels - burdens the industries say they can ill afford.
Not long ago it was fears of Polish plumbers and other tradesmen putting their western counterparts out of work. Now there are concerns that Bulgarian and Romanian lorry operators will drive their better-paid western cohorts out of business.