Air pollution ‘causing deadly public health crisis’

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The Environmental Audit Committee argues air pollution is a “public health crisis” causing nearly as many deaths as smoking.

It also suggested a scrappage scheme for diesel cars to cut emissions.

The government said it was “investing heavily” in clean air, but campaigners said it was ignoring the issue.

There are an estimated 29,000 deaths annually in the UK from air pollution.

Nitrogen dioxide is known to cause inflammation of the airways, reduce lung function and exacerbate asthma.

Particulate matter – tiny invisible specks of mineral dust, carbon and other chemicals – are linked to heart and lung diseases as well as cancer.

Some particulate matter lodges in the lungs, while the finest particles can enter the bloodstream, risking damage elsewhere in the body.

 

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