Air pollution still serious in UK

The UK Parliamentary Environmental Audit Committee has published a new report on air quality. According to the report:

  • Forty out of the UK’s 43 assessment zones are failing to meet EU targets and poor air quality is now found to be shortening the lives of up to 200,000 people by an average of 2 years.
  • In 2008, 4,000 people died in London from air pollution and 30,000 died across the whole of the UK.
  • The health impact of man-made particulate air pollution experienced in the UK in 2005 cost between £8.5 billion and £20.2 billion a year.
  • For 2010 40 of the 43 UK air quality assessment zones did not achieve NO2 compliance.
  • Exceeding WHO guidelines for exposure to fine particulate matter in 25 European cities with a total of 39 million inhabitants resulted in health costs of €31.5 billion a year.

EU limits for PM10 are an average 24 hour exposure of 50 µg/m3 and an average annual exposure of 40 µg/m3. For NO2 the legal exposure limits are an average one hour exposure of 200 µg/m3 and an average annual exposure of 40 µg/m3.

The Report is available at

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