Wednesday 26th October 2016                 Change text size:

UK still failing to meet European air pollution targets

UK still failing to meet European air pollution targets

The health effects of pollution.A follow-up to a 2010 report, which found that poor air quality was shortening life expectancy of UK residents, has reiterated its predecessor’s findings an says that the evidence has “grown stronger”. Alex Blackburne has the facts.

Nearly 200,000 people’s lives are being shortened by an average of two years because of air pollution in the UK, a recent study has found.

The study, conducted by the Environmental Audit Committee (EAC) as a follow-up to an initial 2010 report it had done, urges the Government to “not continue to put the health of the nation at risk“.

The report calls for action to improve air quality by setting up Ministerial Group to “oversee delivery” of the strategy, as well as acting on a local level as well.

Its predecessor suggested similar policies, but the EAC say that most are yet to be brought in, with 40 out of the UK’s 43 assessment zones currently failing to meet EU standards.

“This report confirms that the Government is placing an extraordinarily low priority on resolving the public health crisis caused by air pollution“, said James Grugeon, CEO of Environmental Protection UK.

“The Government must now follow the Committee’s well-reasoned suggestions and deliver a true cross-departmental strategy to comply urgently and fully with the air pollution targets the UK has failed to meet.”

The report goes on to state that UK figures suggest that “poor air quality is associated with areas of low income, low employment and low educational attainment, with differences in exposure to air pollution between different ethnic groups“.

Ultimately, the EAC’s report says it is the failure of the Government to abide by EU pollution laws and is “putting the health of UK residents at risk“.

To view the report in full, click here.

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