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Every breath we take: the lifelong impact of air pollution in the UK

A recent report by the Royal College of Physicians and the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health examines the impact of air pollution across the course of a lifetime. It sets out the dangerous impact air pollution is currently having on our health of citizens in the UK.

Each year in the UK, around 40,000 deaths are attributable to exposure to outdoor air pollution which plays a role in many major health challenges. Air pollution has been linked to cancer, asthma, stroke and heart disease, diabetes, obesity, as well as changes linked to dementia. These health problems linked to air pollution have a high cost to people who suffer from illness and premature death, to health services and business. In the UK, these costs add up to more than 20 billion pounds every year.

The report also highlights indoor air pollution. Kitchen products, faulty boilers, open fires, fly sprays and air fresheners can all cause poor air quality in homes, workspaces and schools.

As a result the report offers a number of major reform proposals setting out what must be done if we are to tackle the problem of air pollution.

The full report is available here

Originally posted on 17 March 2016

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The Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL) is a leading European not-for-profit organisation addressing how the environment affects health in the European Union (EU). We demonstrate how policy changes can help protect health and enhance people’s quality of life. Read more »


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