Air quality has been a global concern for the past 40 years, however in recent years scientific research has allowed us to gain a much greater insight into the health and environmental impacts of poor air quality. The results of recent studies now show air pollution to be the single largest environmental health risk in Europe.
In this report we examine the latest evidence and statistics from the UK government and The World Health Organisation (WHO), exploring how car emissions are affecting the quality of the air we breathe in the UK, and what action is being taken to tackle this crisis.
There have been a large number of studies conducted over recent years examining the effects of air pollutants on the human body. The results have shown that tiny particles, less than 10 microns in diameter (≤ PM10), are absorbed into our respiratory and circulatory system. This is proven to cause major damage to our lungs, heart and brain, which can lead to strokes, lung cancers and heart disease. According to these studies, a third of deaths from these illnesses are a result of poor air quality. In London, the estimated economic costs of health impacts from exposure to fine particulate matter (PM2.5) and nitrogen oxide range, from.... (continue reading)