London’s shocking air pollution death toll revealed

London’s Mayor Boris Johnson this morning announced new figures which reveal the shocking toll of air pollution on the lives of Londoners.

In his question time session in the London Assembly this morning, the Mayor cited new research that put the total premature deaths from air pollution in London in 2010 at close to 9,500.

The number of early deaths from nitrogen dioxide was revealed at more than 5,000.

Alan Andrews, Clean Air Lawyer at ClientEarth, said:

“This new research piles more pressure on the government to come up with a clear and credible plan to cut pollution from diesel vehicles.

“Following our Supreme Court victory earlier this year, they must produce plans to bring deadly nitrogen dioxide pollution within legal levels as soon as possible. Current plans won’t achieve legal limits in London until after 2030 – condemning thousands more Londoners to an early death for every year of delay.

“As shocking as they are, these deaths are really only the tip of the iceberg. For every person who dies early from air pollution, many more are made seriously ill, have to visit hospital or take time off work.

“Nitrogen dioxide is produced mainly by diesel vehicles. We need to get the worst polluting of these out of our towns and cities, away from our schools and hospitals. That requires action from the government on a national scale.

“Air quality overall is a cross-border problem which needs a cross-border solution. Today, British MEPs are voting in the European Parliament on new rules that will set emissions ceilings for air pollutants, including PM2.5, across the EU. They should seize the opportunity to set targets that will improve the lives and health of millions. ”

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