London air pollution is stunting children’s lungs... and 12 more reasons it needs to be tackled NOW

We look at the evidence

Children’s lungs are suffering from stunted growth thanks to London air pollution, a major study has found.

Researchers looked at the lungs of 2,400 kids in 25 east London schools and found those who came into contact with more air pollution had 10% smaller lungs.

This reduction in lung capacity was permanent and they were also more susceptible to breathing conditions such as bronchitis and asthma, the study by the Medical Research Council and Asthma UK Centre found.

But it’s not just this research that shows how harmful London pollution is. Here are 12 more reasons it needs to be tacked now:

  1. Oxford Street is the world’s most polluted street by nitrogen dioxide levels, which is linked to asthma and heart attacks.

  2. London was ranked “below average” for its air quality and was criticised for taking “backward steps” to tackle air pollution, in the run up to the 2012 Olympics.

  3. A total of 3,389 Londoners over the age of 25 died due to pollution-related illnesses in 2010.

  4. Pollution levels on Oxford Street in London breached the EU’s entire annual legal limit just four days into the start of 2015.

  5. Deaths due to poor air quality in London have gone up in almost half of London boroughs, with some rising as much as 6.9%.

  6. Air pollution in Britain has been linked with higher incidences of developing an irregular heartbeat and blood clots in the lung, research found.

  7. Despite lower levels of smoking among Londoners than those in other areas of the country, lung cancer is among the top four causes of death in the capital, as pollution levels are higher in the capital than anywhere else in the UK.

  8. London has all of Britain’s worst spots for poisonous air, with the top 20 most polluted places all in London.

  9. For all of London, 7.2% of all deaths were related to air pollution in 2010 (the most recent year research is available for).

  10. Eight out of nine areas surveyed in London has illegally high pollution levels, according to researchers.

  11. Air pollution in the UK is causing a deadly “public health crisis”, responsible for almost as many deaths as smoking, a panel of MPs warned.

  12. Just two hours’ exposure to Oxford Street air could damage arteries and cause respiratory problems, research shows.

 

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Readers' comments (1)

  • Anonymous

    Increase Diesel tax, reduce cigarette/Petrol tax to keep the car cheaper than the train.

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