The UK’s highest court has ruled that the government must take immediate action to cut air pollution.
The Supreme Court Justices ruled yesterday in a unanimous decision, that the new Government, whatever its political complexion, should be left in no doubt as to the need for immediate action to address the issue of air pollution.
The ruling is a significant victory for campaigners, who began legal action after the UK breached EU limits for nitrogen dioxide (NO2) in the air. Diesel vehicles are a key source of so-called NOx emissions, and NO2 is linked to a range of respiratory illnesses. The Environment Department said work had already been started on revised plans to meet EU targets on NO2. Continue reading
28 April 2015 – A staggering US$ 1.6 trillion is the economic cost of the approximate 600 000 premature deaths and of the diseases caused by air pollution in the WHO European Region in 2010, according to the first-ever study of these costs conducted for the Region. The amount is nearly equivalent to one tenth of the gross domestic product (GDP) of the entire European Union in 2013.
The new study was published today by the WHO Regional Office for Europe and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) as a 3-day high-level meeting on environment and health in Europe opens. Over 200 representatives from European countries and international and nongovernmental organizations gather in Haifa, Israel, on 28–30 April 2015 to look at achievements, gaps and challenges and set future priorities.
Evidence shows that air pollution at current levels in European cities is responsible for a significant burden of deaths, hospital admissions and exacerbation of symptoms. WHO/Europe works to make sure that the available evidence on the health risks of air pollution is used in public debate and in policy-making.
The air we breathe contains emissions from motor vehicles, industry, heating and commercial sources, as well as tobacco smoke and household fuels. Air pollution harms human health, particularly in those already vulnerable because of their age or existing health problems. Continue reading
Britain has been placed on a health alert as a potentially dangerous cloud of air pollution blows over the country. Experts have said that the smog could cause fatal asthma attacks and warned the elderly and those with health problems to be cautious.
The warnings come due to a potentially dangerous cloud of air pollution passing over from Europe; the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) have said that it was mixing with home-grown smog to create a toxic hazard.
Officials have warned that it could trigger problems for people with respiratory conditions, the elderly and the young.
Paris has had major problems with air pollution this week; the French government was forced to impose restrictions on motorists. On Monday, only vehicles with odd-numbered plates were allowed on the city’s roads, followed by those with even-numbered plates on Tuesday. By Wednesday, police had also brought in low speed limits. Continue reading