London Has Highest Number of Air Pollution Related Deaths
p>New figures released by Public Health England (PHE) have revealed that nearly half of London?s 33 boroughs have seen an increase in the number of deaths attributable to air pollution in the last year. Overall there was a small improvement in England with the percentage falling from 5.6% a year ago to 5.36%. Gateshead showed the biggest improvement with Sandwell, Blackpool, Sunderland and the Wirral making up the rest of the top five. In contrast the London Borough of Hillingdon, where 8.94% deaths were attributable to particulates, showed the largest increase. The worst performing area outside London was Hertfordshire.
The fraction of mortality attributable to man made particulate air pollution is used as an indicator as part of the Department of Health?s Public Health Outcomes Framework. Last month the European Environment Agency (EEA) reported that? populations were at risk due to EU laws lagging behind World Health Organisation (WHO) recommendations. Whilst the EU admits that 14-31% of citizens are exposed to particulate levels above those considered safe, the WHO suggest the figure is 85-98%, with countries including Britain arguing against any increase in standards. Whilst the situation continues to cause frustration amongst campaigners, Clean Air in London?s Simon Birkett, did welcome the work done by the government to provide clear figures saying; ?Clean Air in London applauds Public Health England, the Committee on the Medical Effects of Air Pollution and the Department of Health for publishing these statistics about air pollution ? the biggest public health risk after smoking. We also applaud the greater precision of the statistics this year.??