Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

The Devastating Toll of London's Filthy Air

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

The Devastating Toll of London's Filthy Air

Article excerpt

THE toll that our city's toxic air is taking on Londoners is frankly alarming. A new report by academics from King's College estimates that in 2010, premature loss of life linked to nitrogen dioxide pollution equated to 5,879 deaths. This, together with an estimated 3,537 deaths associated with emissions of tiny PM 2.5 particulates tiny specks of soot, mostly from diesel engines means that in that year the equivalent of 25 people a day in London may have died from conditions linked to dirty air.

The nitrogen dioxide figures are based on innovative methods and may be revised, and pollution levels have fallen since 2010, but these figures confirm that London is nowhere near meeting EU emissions targets. In April the Supreme Court ruled Government measures to cut pollution inadequate, giving ministers until the end of the year to come up with new plans to cut No2.

The 1956 Clean Air Act did away with old-fashioned smog, but modern pollution is invisible, even where levels of toxicity are at their highest, as for example on Oxford Street. …

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