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Pollution robs people of up to nine years

pot-kettleFirst published: March 22, 2010

Source: Tobacco Reporter

Pollution in the UK is causing people to die up to nine years prematurely, according to a report by the Commons Environmental Audit Committee reported by BBC News.

The report said the UK should be ‘ashamed’ of its poor air quality, which was contributing to conditions such as asthma, heart disease and cancer.

Pollutants such as ozone, nitrogen oxides and particulate matter from transport and power stations have been blamed for contributing to early deaths.

Particulate matter is estimated to reduce people’s lives by an average seven to eight months, while in pollution hotspots vulnerable residents, such as those with asthma, could be dying up to nine years early.

Air pollution also leads to damage to wildlife and agriculture, with ground-level ozone estimated to reduce wheat yields in the south of Britain by 5-15 per cent.

“Air pollution probably causes more deaths than passive smoking, traffic accidents or obesity, yet it receives very little attention from government or the media,” said committee chairman, Tim Yeo.

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