London’s bad air and diesel fumes driving people to early death’

LONDON has the worst air pollution in Britain and among the worst in Europe, City Hall has been told. Poor air quality is driving people “to early death” and is particularly affecting children and the elderly, the London Assembly’s environment committee has heard

LONDON has the worst air pollution in Britain and among the worst in Europe, City Hall has been told.

Poor air quality is driving people “to early death” and is particularly affecting children and the elderly, the London Assembly’s environment committee heard.

Air pollution is believed to be responsible for around 1,000 premature deaths each year and was also causing a reduction in some children’s lung growth of up to 17 per cent by the time they hit their teens.

Air pollution—particularly from diesel vehicle fumes—penetrates into the lungs, leading to inflammation similar to respiratory disease, Kings College London’s Dr Frank Kelly told the committee yesterday.


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European targets for air quality, which London was not yet meeting, were not strict enough to protect public health, he said. If nothing is done, it would get worse.

The Assembly is now looking at ways to improve air quality in the capital. Public transport bosses and the Greater London Authority are putting forward ideas for a solution at the next environment session March 5.

Meetings can be viewed by webcast online.

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