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Breathing air in Aylesbury is like smoking 123 cigarettes a year

Breathing air in Aylesbury is like smoking 123 cigarettes a year

Published by Mix96 News at 2:01pm 10th December 2019.

The British Heart Foundation have said air pollution is now a public health emergency, including here in Aylesbury.

Breathing in the air in Aylesbury is equal to smoking 123 cigarettes a year. Data also showed the average daily PM2.5 exposure was 9.7 which can have a serious detrimental effect on heart health, making existing conditions worse, and increasing the risk of heart attacks and strokes. 

The UK currently subscribes to EU limits on levels of fine particulate matter called PM2.5, which is not as stringent as those set by the World Health Organisation. This is the most dangerous kind of air pollution, with the smallest particles finding their way into the circulatory system when inhaled.

Jacob West, Executive Director of Healthcare Innovation at the British Heart Foundation said:

"Air pollution is a major public health emergency and over many years it has not been treated with the seriousness it deserves. Unless we take radical measures now to curb air pollution, in the future we will look back on this period of inaction with shame.

"As these figures show, the effect of air pollution on our heart and circulatory system is profound, and we have no choice over the air we breathe in the places we live. Legislation was passed over a decade ago to protect people from passive smoke, and similarly decisive must be taken to protect people from air pollution.

"The last government accepted that it is possible to implement tougher WHO air pollution limits, and the next government must now do so protect the health of the nation."

The Environment Bill was introduced before parliament dissolved, but there wasn't a commitment to adopt the WHO guidelines.

The charity is now urging the next government to urgently adopt into law the World Health Organisation air pollution limits.

Dr Mark Miller, a British Heart Foundation-funded researcher specialising in air pollution, said:  

"It is now recognised that air pollution affects almost all organs of the body and has a staggering detrimental effect on our health. 

"Ultimately, there is no safe level of air pollution, but adopting stricter limits will be crucial to ensure that action is taken to effectively reduce air pollution. 

"The potential health benefits of realising these targets are enormous, allowing everyone to live healthier lives for longer." 

The BHF also said a commitment to adopt the WHO guidelines would be a crucial step towards protecting the nation's heart health. 

 

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