Pollution a health emergency?

Air pollution blamed for 40,000 deaths in UK

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Ambient (outdoor) air quality and health

Outdoor air pollution is a major environmental health problem affecting everyone in developed and developing countries alike.

WHO estimates that in 2012, some 72% of outdoor air pollution-related premature deaths were due to ischaemic heart disease and strokes, while 14% of deaths were due to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or acute lower respiratory infections, and 14% of deaths were due to lung cancer.

Some deaths may be attributed to more than one risk factor at the same time. For example, both smoking and ambient air pollution affect lung cancer. Some lung cancer deaths could have been averted by improving ambient air quality, or by reducing tobacco smoking.

A 2013 assessment by WHO’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) concluded that outdoor air pollution is carcinogenic to humans, with the particulate matter component of air pollution most closely associated with increased cancer incidence, especially cancer of the lung. An association also has been observed between outdoor air pollution and increase in cancer of the urinary tract/bladder.

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Yorkshire Post

Air pollution and our battle for cleaner air

Air pollution has been blamed for shortening the lives of as many as 40,000 people in the UK each year. But what's causing it and how can we tackle the problem? Chris Bond reports.

Here in the UK we sometimes look aghast at pictures of people in China wearing protective masks as they trudge through its suffocating city streets shrouded by toxic smog.

But we aren't immune from air pollution. True, we've come a long way from the deadly smogs that engulfed London back in the early 1950s claiming the lives of thousands of people.

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