Wednesday, October 20

Air pollution that breaks the WHO limits surrounds 25% of UK homes, according to a study Air pollution

One in four UK homes is surrounded by air pollution that exceeds the safe limits set by the World Health Organization, a study has shown after research that reveals that road pollution affects virtually everyone parts of Great Britain.

Nearly 8 million addresses in the UK are affected by high levels of particulate matter or nitrogen dioxide, the study commissioned by the Central Office of Public Interest (Copi) campaign group showed.

Researchers at Imperial College London used computer models to produce estimated concentrations of the levels of three toxic pollutants: PM (particulate matter) 2.5, PM10 and NO.two – in each direction, with an accuracy of 20 square meters (24 square yards).

The results have been compiled into a national searchable database, where people can enter an address to receive a rating of low, medium, significant, high, or very high, with any value above “medium,” meaning the address exceeds the limit for a contaminant.

The study follows research that reveals that 94% of the land in Britain has some pollution above background levels, even though roads occupy less than 1% of the country. The University of Exeter study found that the most widespread pollutants are tiny particles, mainly from burning fossil fuels, nitrogen dioxide from diesel vehicles, and noise and light.

More than 70% of the country is affected by all of these, and the only land to escape road pollution is almost entirely at high altitude, affecting wildlife and seriously damaging human health. Research indicates that air pollution up to 500 meters (547 yards) from roads harms human health.

Copi is pushing for legislation that requires real estate owners and other property managers to list air pollution levels when listing properties, having obtained a legal opinion from a quality check stating that there is a “strong argument” from that real estate agents would be violating Consumer Protection. of the Unfair Trade Regulations 2008 if they did not inform customers of potential health risks.

Copi founder Humphrey Milles called for transparency on the risks of air pollution: “Air pollution affects everyone. He is an invisible and dangerous killer. With this national launch, it would be shameful if the real estate industry did not start acting honestly and transparently. Lives depend on it. Everyone has the right to know what they are breathing. “

Jemima Hartshorn, founder of the Mums for Lungs campaign group, described the statistics as “shocking” but said the group was pleased that the data was now publicly available.

“We hope it really helps raise awareness about the high levels of air pollution that are making many of us sick. We really need to see urgent action on this and above all we continue to ask the government to commit to reaching WHO levels, by 2030 at the latest, for all major pollutants in the UK, ”said Hartshorn.

“We also need the government to commit real funding to address this problem and provide many more cities with progressive clean air zones. We need to finally address the problem of wood burning, which has become the largest contributor to particulate matter across the country. “

The UK government is planning a £ 27bn expansion of England’s road network, but the Guardian reported in February that Transport Secretary Grant Shapps had overruled the official advice of public officials to review the policy. for environmental reasons. It has been a legal requirement to take into account the environmental impact of such projects since 2014.

Dirty air is estimated to cause 40,000 premature deaths a year in the UK.

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