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BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Sulphur dioxide emissions, which cause acid rain, have dropped by 66 percent from ships in European Union ports since a new policy on shipping fuel began in 2010, research by the EU Commission showed on Tuesday.

Scientists at the EU Commission's Joint Research Centre measured air quality in Mediterranean harbors before and after the entry into force of the low-sulphur requirements for ships at anchor in January 2010.

In European Mediterranean harbors (Civitavecchia and Savona in Italy and Palma de Mallorca in Spain), they found an average decrease of 66 percent in concentrations of sulphur dioxide, while measurements taken in the non-EU port of Tunis showed no decline.

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