Road bumps are doing more harm than good as they are contributing to increased pollution and causing health problems, Diko deputy Christos Orphanides said on Friday, following up on a discussion he had tabled the previous day during a House transport committee session.

According to studies cited by Orphanides, constant braking and starting from cars and trucks releases dangerous substances into the air which can cause cancer and other serious illnesses.

Orphanides said that other European countries are actually starting to remove road bumps from residential areas “by the thousands,” purely for reasons of pollution and the health risks associated with them.

He referred to studies held by the health ministry which will be formally discussed before the committee in a subsequent debate on the matter, which speak of “serious health issues” caused by the existence of the bumps.

The deputy explained that the particles emitted by the sudden braking and burning of the oil at this particular moment cause air pollution and carry benzene, xylene, toluene and ethylbenzene into the inhaled air, particles which are toxic and cause cell damage.

The friction and braking of vehicles on the bump transport these particles into the atmosphere, which can cause diseases such as leukemia and cancer, he added.

Referring to the uncontrolled construction of road bumps in Cyprus, he said that it is done without specifications. “There are specifications,” he said, “but everyone does it as they want.”

Transport ministry spokesman Charalambos Kais told the committee that since 2007, 3,227 requests have been submitted for the construction of road bumps in various parts of the network throughout Cyprus.

Last year 92 per cent of the requests were rejected, causing reactions from the applicants.

Meanwhile, speaking to state radio on Friday morning, Orphanides questioned why 17 road bumps are needed between Choirokoitia and Vavla, and another 21 between Mazotos and Zygi.

He also said we should consider the obstacles they create for ambulances and fire engines.

Orphanides told Trito that representatives from both the police and the public works department told the committee that “even if a private individual requests that a bump is built outside their house, the request is evaluated and granted”.

Speaking on behalf of the health ministry, Marios Panayides said there is no doubt that multiple bumps cause the production of pollutants, which stay in the area affecting the residents.

“With the humps, we place a great risk in our homes,” he said, also citing studies conducted on the operation of brakes and vehicles in general.

MPs asked those involved to examine the use of road bumps and to specifically remove those that are out of specification.

The committee will return to the issue with the participation of all competent services, including the ministries of transport and health.