Report reveals United Kingdom cities with most polluted air quality

Pollution Killed More Than war Famine and Natural Disasters in 2016

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In a "briefing for United Kingdom policymakers" the report called for the expansion of Clean Air Zones nationwide and wider introduction of measures similar to London's new T-charge, which imposes a levy on drivers of the most polluting vehicles.

Of the 51 United Kingdom cities and towns listed in an air quality database, 44 fail the WHO's test for fine sooty particles smaller than 2.5 microns, which are linked to heart disease and premature death.

Cardiff and Birmingham had 14 micrograms, and Manchester had 13.

Delhi has turned virtually into an airtight box due to the near absence of any wind movement, which is consistently keeping the city's air quality "very poor", authorities said today. "It's a lifetime threat to human health".

The report, "The Lancet Countdown: Tracking Progress on Health and Climate Change", is an account of a global study on climate change and the risks it poses in terms of temperature-related illness and death, worsening air quality, extreme weather events among others.

The cities exceed WHO's limit of particles smaller than 2.5 microns allowed in the atmosphere, which is set at 10µg/m3 (micrograms per cubic metre).

"Consequently I contacted the council immediately for their response and they said, 'we don't recognise this to be the case and are very concerned to read the report".

It is calling on the government to act on air pollution as an urgent policy priority as cleaner air can help prevent disease and suffering, reduce premature mortality and save billions in public money while cutting emissions.

Diesel-powered vehicles, which generate pollution particles, were one of the "key drivers" of poor air quality, Dr Hillman said.

Eastbourne's MP has responded to a report which says the town has among the highest air pollution levels in Britain.

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