Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

LONDON'S INVISIBLE KILLER *X85; THE AIR WE BREATHE; MPs CONDEMN FAILURE TO TACKLE DEADLY POLLUTION BLACKSPOTS; EXCLUSIVE; Poor Air Robs Londoners of 41,000 'Life Years' Annually

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

LONDON'S INVISIBLE KILLER *X85; THE AIR WE BREATHE; MPs CONDEMN FAILURE TO TACKLE DEADLY POLLUTION BLACKSPOTS; EXCLUSIVE; Poor Air Robs Londoners of 41,000 'Life Years' Annually

Article excerpt

Byline: Nicholas Cecil Deputy Political Editor

MPs are to launch a new inquiry into air quality in London amid warnings that thousands of people are dying prematurely from the "invisible killer" of pollution, the Standard reveals today.

Just days after smog and Saharan sand hit the capital, MPs condemned the "painfully slow" progress in tackling pollution blackspots.

The Commons environmental audit committee will investigate why City Hall and the Government have not made more effort in improving air quality since 2010 when the MPs published an earlier report on pollution.

"Thousands of Londoners are having their lives shortened every year by diesel fumes and tiny particles of tyre and soot. Look out across the capital on a sunny day and you can see the smog hazily smothering the city," said chairwoman Joan Walley. "The Environmental Audit Committee warned four years ago that urgent action was needed to tackle this invisible killer haunting our streets. London was breaching EU safety limits on air pollution back then and it is still breaching them now. We want to know why progress on tackling this problem has been so painfully slow."

In 2010, the environmental audit committee called for a "significant shift" in transport policy and warned that insufficient priority was being given to cutting pollution blamed for exacerbating health problems including asthma and other breathing and heart conditions.

Professor Frank Kelly, an environmental health expert from King's College London estimated then that 3,000 to 5,000 people in London were dying early each year due to pollution, with some people having their lives cut short by up to 10 years.

Last week, the boroughs of Kensington and Chelsea and Westminster, were named as having the most man-made polluted air in Britain in a report from Public Health England. …

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