London air pollution contributes to all four main causes of death in capital

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.

Campaign groups are calling for urgent action to reduce exhaust fumes in London, as new research shows that pollution plays a significant part in the four main causes of death.

The Office for National Statistics has released figures, commissioned by campaign group Clean Air London, ranking the main causes of death in each London borough over the last 12 years.

The main causes of death for men were heart attacks, chronic lower respiratory disease, stokes, dementia and lung cancer, while for women they were heart attacks, dementia, lung cancer, chronic lower respiratory diseases and strokes.

Simon Birkett, director of Clean Air London, urged politicians to take action and said the findings have been sent to the London Health Commission.

He said: “Politicians and officials must stop saying behind closed doors that they don’t want to frighten the public about air pollution and do something to reduce it quickly.”

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