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London has Highest Air Pollution Mortality Rate in UK

April 11, 2014
Environmental Protection

Figures contained in a new report from Public Health England (PHE) show that mortality rates from particulate pollution are highest in the London boroughs of Kensington, Chelsea and Westminster. ‘Estimating Local Mortality Burdens associated with Particulate Air Pollution’ is the first report to estimate the number of deaths that can be attributed to particulate pollution in all local authorities across the UK. It builds on figures produced for the Public Health Outcomes Framework which estimate the percentage of deaths associated with long term exposure to particulate air pollution in local authorities in England.

Dr Paul Cosford PHE’s Director of Health Protection and Medical Director hopes the document will influence local authorities to introduce policies to start to address air quality issues, saying; “Policies that encourage a shift from motorised transport to walking and cycling would be expected to reduce total vehicle emissions, including particulate pollution. If this could be achieved in towns and cities, then we could expect local improvements in air quality. There would also be health benefits from increased physical activity through walking and cycling.”

Mortality rates range from 8.3% in London to 2.4% in Eilean Siar in the western isles of Scotland. Estimates have been made for long term exposure but are still subject to uncertainty which mean the risks associated with ambient PM2.5’s could in fact be up to double those found in the research. 

You can download a copy of ‘Estimating Local Mortality Burdens associated with Particulate Air Pollution’ here.