City air pollution is equivalent of smoking 150 cigarettes a year

Telegraph Lifestyle 1 day ago

Living in the UK's most polluted cities and towns increases the risk of an early death by the equivalent of smoking three cigarettes a week, a charity has warned.

The British Heart Foundation (BHF) said air pollution must be declared "a public health emergency".

Its analysis shows that people living in the Newham, Westminster, Kensington and Chelsea, and Islington areas of London are worst hit by air pollution - the equivalent to smoking more than 150 cigarettes a year on average.

Those in Waltham Forest, Hackney, Tower Hamlets, Barking and Dagenham, Lambeth and Southwark in London are also badly affected, as are people in Slough, Dartford, Portsmouth, Medway, Luton, Gravesham and Thurrock.

The BHF wants the next government to urgently introduce tougher World Health Organisation (WHO) air pollution limits.

It said current EU limits - which the UK comfortably meets - for fine particulate matter (PM2.5) are 25 micrograms per metre cubed as an annual average.

The WHO limits are tougher - at 10 micrograms per metre cubed as an annual average.

The BHF said PM2.5 can have a "seriously detrimental effect to heart health", increasing the risk of heart attack and stroke and making existing health problems worse.

It says that around 11,000 coronary heart disease and stroke deaths each year in the UK are caused by particulate matter air pollution.

Jacob West, executive director of healthcare innovation at the BHF, said: "Air pollution is a major public health emergency and over many years it has not been treated with the seriousness it deserves.

"Unless we take radical measures now to curb air pollution, in the future we will look back on this period of inaction with shame.

"As these figures show, the effect of air pollution on our heart and circulatory system is profound, and we have no choice over the air we breathe in the places we live.

"Legislation was passed over a decade ago to protect people from passive smoke, and similarly decisive must be taken to protect people from air pollution.

"The last government accepted that it is possible to implement tougher WHO air pollution limits, and the next government must now do so protect the health of the nation."

Earlier this year the head of the NHS has declared an air pollution "emergency" after a major study today shows it causes hundreds of heart attacks and strokes every year.

The UK study found reveal days of high air pollution trigger an extra 124 cardiac arrests, 231 stroke admissions and 193 hospitalisations for asthma across nine major UK cities each year.

The research by King’s College London, which is due to be published next month was  the first of its kind to analyse the impact of air pollution on health across different UK regions in this way.

Dr Mark Miller, a British Heart Foundation-funded researcher specialising in air pollution, said:  “It is now recognised that air pollution affects almost all organs of the body and has a staggering detrimental effect on our health.“Ultimately, there is no safe level of air pollution, but adopting stricter limits will be crucial to ensure that action is taken to effectively reduce air pollution.

“The potential health benefits of realising these targets are enormous, allowing everyone to live healthier lives for longer.”

Source link
Read also:
The Sun › 1 day ago
LIVING in the UK’s most polluted areas raises the risk of early death by the equivalent of smoking 150 cigs a year, a charity has warned. The British Heart Foundation has called for air pollution to be declared a “public health emergency”. Its...
Daily Mail Online › Lifestyle › 20 hours ago
Statistics analysed by the British Heart Foundation revealed that people living in Newham, East London, breathe air as damaging as 159 cigarettes per year, while Scottish air is closer to 40 cigarettes.
Business Insider › Politics › 2 months ago
President Donald Trump has falsely said that the US has the purest air in the world, but in fact, it ranks 10th. According to the American Lung Association, the 25 US cities with the most air pollution are mostly clustered in 8 states. Air pollution...
Reuters › Politics › 2 months ago
A growing number of Americans say that vaping e-cigarettes is at least as harmful as smoking traditional cigarettes, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll, following reports of an outbreak of vaping-related illnesses and deaths.
The Sun › 3 weeks ago
E-CIGARETTES are just as dangerous for your heart as smoking, experts have warned. Their findings add weight to fears that vaping is not the “safe alternative” to regular cigarettes. E-cigs are widely thought to be a “healthier option” – due...
Sputnik International › 1 week ago
New Delhi (Sputnik): Pakistan’s “city of gardens” Lahore is struggling to control its air pollution, with the government directing schools across the city to remain shut due to “hazardous” air quality.
Sputnik International › 2 weeks ago
New Delhi (Sputnik): With air pollution levels recording ‘critical’ levels in New Delhi, the government of India’s national capital had imposed road-rationing for a fortnight to mitigate the situation. The scheme remained in force from 4-15...
CNN › Lifestyle › 1 month ago
A new study looks at the association between the use of e-cigarettes and the success rate of quitting smoking.
CBS Local › Lifestyle › 1 month ago
Vaping helped 50,000 to 70,000 smokers in England quit smoking in 2017, new research estimates. But different policies and cultures around e-cigarettes mean those results might not be replicated elsewhere.
CNN › Lifestyle › 2 months ago
Lucas McClain started smoking cigarettes in high school but switched to vaping after he heard e-cigarettes were a safer alternative.
Sign In

Sign in to follow sources and tags you love, and get personalized stories.

Continue with Google