Thousands of more deaths linked to London pollution, report reveals

 

Almost 10,000 premature deaths could be linked to air pollution in London over a year according to a groundbreaking report that marks a dramatic increase on previous estimates.

A study undertaken by King’s College London found in terms of life-years lost the equivalent of 9,500 deaths could be linked to airborne particulate matter PM.5 and nitrogen dioxide (NO2) in 2010.

Previous estimates has suggested the number of premature deaths could be around a third of that figure. 

The research is thought to mark the first time any city has quantified the health effects of both NO2 and PM2.5.

The report states: 'The total mortality burden in 2010 from PM2.5 and NO2 can be added to give a range from the 52,630 life-years lost, equivalent to 3,537 deaths at typical ages from PM2.5 alone (if only including the most established effects) to as much as 140,743 life-years lost, equivalent to 9,416 deaths at typical ages (assuming a 30% overlap between the effects of PM2.5 and NO2 and comparing with a zero concentration of NO2).'

Its results were met with outrage from transport campaigners, who demanded ‘serious investment’ to counteract London’s dependence on motorised travel.

Mayor Boris Johnson renewed calls on the Government and the EU for greater support to tackle air pollution in the capital.

He highlighted that nearly half the health effects caused by NO2 and PM.5 were a result of air pollution outside London such as diesel fumes and launched calls for tightened emissions controls across the UK.

Mr Johnson said: ‘My greatest priority remains to protect the well-being and environment of Londoners, and this scientific evidence will ensure we have all the information needed to continue delivering comprehensive measures that bring real change.

‘I’ve been criticised for cleaning up taxis, upgrading bus fleets and my plans for the world’s first Ultra-Low Emission Zone in 2020, but this study shows imperatively why these bold measures are required.

‘I need the help and strong support of the Government and the EU to effectively win London’s pollution battle and target the enormous amount of toxic air transported into our great capital internationally.’

Report author, Dr Heather Walton, said: ‘The health evidence on the health effects of nitrogen dioxide has strengthened in recent years, including evidence linking long-term exposure to nitrogen dioxide with mortality. It is now thought that there is an additional effect beyond that previously quantified for the effects of long-term exposure to PM2.5.’

Philip Insall, health director of campaign group Sustrans, said the ‘damning’ evidence from the report meant ‘the Government can't afford not to act, and act now’.

‘By reducing our reliance on motor vehicles and putting serious investment into walking and cycling we can slash pollution, and at the same time we will benefit from lower obesity, reduced traffic congestion and more pleasant urban environments,’ Mr Insall said.

‘Recent legislation in the shape of the Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy demands that the Government develops a plan to do just that. But it is really vital that the level of investment planned is high enough to achieve meaningful change and eliminate the air quality crisis at its source.’

Mr Johnson has today launched consultation on a range of measures to help boroughs tackle air pollution hot spots and emissions through the Local Air Quality Management process. The approach will be supported through £20m from the mayor’s Air Quality Fund.

Julian Bell, chair of London Councils’ transport and environment committee, said: 'The report’s findings show the shocking state of air quality in London and the scale of the impact it has on Londoners’ health. It is now more apparent than ever that London needs a joined-up air quality strategy, with urgent action taken at all levels of government and business.

'Boroughs themselves are at the forefront of efforts to improve air quality. My own council, Ealing, is one of a number encouraging cycling as part of a wider effort to encourage a shift away from cars, while Croydon, Lewisham, Merton, Richmond and Wandsworth have jointly developed a schools programme to raise children’s awareness and help them to protect themselves from harmful particulates. Boroughs urgently need the funding to take further steps to tackle poor air quality.'

 
comments powered by Disqus
 
 
highways jobs

Environmental Health Officers within Environmental Protection, Health and Safety and Food Safety

Kirklees Metropolitan Council
£30,507 - £32,878
We expect candidates to have expertise or qualifications in one or more of the relevant areas of Air Quality, Acoustics and/or Contaminated Land. Kirklees, West Yorkshire
Recuriter: Kirklees Metropolitan Council

Assistant Director

Hammersmith & Fulham London Borough Council
£92,826 - £111,231
This is an ideal opportunity for an expert waste management professional to make a real impact and to lead the service to outstanding. Fulham, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Hammersmith & Fulham London Borough Council

Environmental Health Officer and Grad EHO – Private Sector Housing with benefits*

Camden London Borough Council
£33,122 - £42,490
Exciting opportunity for a highly organised and enthusiastic Environment Health Officer or a newly qualified graduate working towards... Camden, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Camden London Borough Council

Director of Inclusive Growth and Public Sector Reform

West Midlands Combined Authority
£110,000
The role requires someone with a talent for innovation and a passion for designing and implementing public services. West Midlands Region
Recuriter: West Midlands Combined Authority

Vehicle Technician x3

Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council
£24,313 - £28,785 per annum
All Candidates must hold a clean category C driving licence (CPC not required). Sandwell, West Midlands
Recuriter: Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council

Ugobus Driver (multiple positions)

Essex County Council
Up to £18938.0 per annum
Primary locations will include Clacton and Harlow only. Please note that we have permanent, fixed term and relief contract opportunities on a part tim England, Essex, Chelmsford
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Corporate Director of Neighbourhoods and Climate Change

Durham County Council
£148,583
You will manage a range of front-line services including bins and waste, transport, environmental health, technical services, partnerships and... Durham (County)
Recuriter: Durham County Council

Tenancy Enforcement Assistant

Royal Borough of Greenwich
£22.377 - £23.607
Looking for individuals who have an interest in the environment with good customer service skills, flexible approach to work and a good team player. Greenwich, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Royal Borough of Greenwich

Head of Programme Management Office

Manchester City Council
£60,857 to £65,865
As the Head of PMO, you will define and maintain standards for project management within the Highways Service. Manchester, Greater Manchester
Recuriter: Manchester City Council

Highways Development Specialist

Manchester City Council
£60,857 to £65,865
Seeking a highly capable strategic leader to join the team to develop our strategic pipeline of works and financial model. Manchester, Greater Manchester
Recuriter: Manchester City Council

Civil Engineering Technician Apprentice

London Borough of Richmond upon Thames and London Borough of Wandsworth
£214 per week
Are you looking to gain vital work experience as an Apprentice? London (Greater)
Recuriter: London Borough of Richmond upon Thames and London Borough of Wandsworth

Assistant Planner/Planner

Kirklees Metropolitan Council
£19,554 - £32,878
The ideal candidate will already have... Kirklees, West Yorkshire
Recuriter: Kirklees Metropolitan Council

Principal Engineer

Liverpool City Council
£37,849 - £42,683
The successful candidate will... Liverpool, Merseyside
Recuriter: Liverpool City Council

Environmental Health Officer (Food, Health & Safety) & Environmental Health Technical Officer

Dacorum Borough Council
£24,710 to £39,034
You will be highly motivated and be expected to deliver against a challenging work plan. London (Greater)
Recuriter: Dacorum Borough Council

Director of Public Health

Worcestershire County Council
Competitive Salary
We’ll look to you to take responsibility for the high-calibre delivery of... Worcestershire
Recuriter: Worcestershire County Council

Street Cleansing Operative Driver (Large Goods Vehicles)

Redbridge London Borough Council
£22,377 to £23,607
We are looking to recruit staff for both our day service and evening service. Redbridge, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Redbridge London Borough Council

Street Works Officer

Enfield London Borough Council
£29,766 to £30,708
he Network Coordination Team are looking for an enthusiastic self-motivated person to join its Street Works Team. Enfield (City/Town), London (Greater)
Recuriter: Enfield London Borough Council

Traffic Management Group Manager

Devon County Council
£61,593
This is an exciting time for the Service with the immediate introduction of a new Permit scheme and significant programme of redesign and... Devon
Recuriter: Devon County Council

Principal Engineer (Highway Safety)

Kirklees Metropolitan Council
£30,507 - £38,813
Are you looking for an opportunity to work as a Principal Engineer, whilst still being able to develop your career and have a good work-life balance? Kirklees, West Yorkshire
Recuriter: Kirklees Metropolitan Council

Principal Engineer (Highways Operations)

Kirklees Metropolitan Council
£30,507 - £38,813
Are you looking for an opportunity to work as a Principal Engineer, whilst still being able to develop your career and have a good work-life balance? Kirklees, West Yorkshire
Recuriter: Kirklees Metropolitan Council