Government action urged as high air pollution continues
Commenting on the continuing high air pollution levels in Britain today (Thursday 3 April 2014, Friends of the Earth air pollution campaigner Jenny Bates said:
“We can’t just rely on a change of weather or wind direction to tackle the deadly air pollution incidents which regularly hit Britain – strong Government action is needed to tackle the underlying problem too.
“Ministers, local authorities and the London Mayor must get much tougher on the causes of air pollution – especially traffic fumes.
“Without urgent action to tackle this national scandal, thousands of people in the UK are likely to die prematurely again this year.”
Notes to editors:
1. 29,000 premature deaths a year in the UK are attributable to long-term exposure to particulate air pollution: http://comeap.org.uk/images/stories/Documents/Reports/comeap%20the%20mortalityeffectsoflong-termexposuretoparticulateairpollutionintheuk2010.pdf
2. Air pollution has failed to meet EU legal limits for Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2) by the 2010 deadline in all but three of the UK’s 43 zones - and 15 zones are not even due to meet limits till 5 years after the last possible extension of 2015 (i.e. 2020). London is not expected to meet the deadline until 2025. Some streets in the capital have pollution levels two or three times the legal limit.
3. The EU has recently started legal action against the UK for failure to tackle air pollution: http://foe.co.uk/resource/press_releases/eu-takes-legal-action-over-uk-air-quality_200220144.
4. Friends of the Earth briefing on air pollution (May 2013): https://www.foe.co.uk/sites/default/files/downloads/air-pollution-briefing-21993.doc