Failure to act on air pollution levels will be deadly: The Yorkshire Post says
New estimates from the Centre for Cities think-tank suggest that more than one in 24 deaths in Yorkshire’s largest cities and towns are related to long-term exposure to toxic air, which contributes to increased deaths from stroke, heart disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, lung cancer and acute respiratory infections.
The estimated 1,514 deaths in Yorkshire in just one year is, shockingly, 21 times the regional rate of deaths from traffic accidents.
It is also worth noting that such pollution is not merely down to traffic fumes with around half of deadly PM2.5 toxins generated in cities and large towns come from sources such as wood burning stoves and coal fires.
The potential solutions to this often-overlooked crisis put for by Centre for Cities may not meet everyone’s approval - it suggests a ban on using wood burning stoves and coal fires in areas where air pollution exceeds guidelines, as well as councils charging car and van drivers to pass through city centres.
The Government is also being urged to triple spending on its national Clean Air Fund as well as adapting the World Health Organisation’s air pollution guidelines - as has already been done in Scotland - on levels of PM2.5 in the atmosphere.
As Andrew Carter, Chief Executive of Centre for Cities, points out the deadly levels of polluted air in Yorkshire are currently “entirely legal”. Finding solutions will not be cheap or easy, but the failure to do so will result in deaths that could have been prevented.