Air pollution: New plan to tackle it

James Marshall
January 15, 2019

Dr Penny Woods, chief executive of the British Lung Foundation, welcomed the measures, saying: "In particular, it's good to see it includes proposals to improve access to air pollution information, something numerous patients we support ask for".

There are lots of things which can make air "dirty" for example fumes from traffic and vehicles, power stations and people smoking.

Mr Gove said: "While air quality has improved significantly in recent years, air pollution continues to shorten lives, harm our children and reduce quality of life". In short: "clean air helps you live longer".

Declaring air pollution to be one of the UK's "biggest health threats", the government promised to set a "new, ambitious, long-term target" to halve the number of people living in areas of dangerously high pollution by 2025.

One issue is the burning of fuels such as wood and coal in open fires and stoves in homes.

The worst will be banned, with only the cleanest being on sale after 2022.

Farming is also a problem.

And it has promised to slash emissions of ammonia, an agricultural gas produced by rotting farm waste and fertiliser.

"Local leaders have consistently stated that funding committed by the government to tackle air pollution is simply inadequate", said Polly Billington, of the UK100 group, which represents local leaders such as London major Sadiq Khan and Greater Manchester mayor Andy Burnham.

On Friday, Attorney General Geoffrey Cox QC gave consent for a new inquest to be opened into the death of Ella Kissi-Debrah, a nine-year-old asthma sufferer who died in 2013, after her family argued that the initial inquest ignored the role air pollution might have played in her death.

Air pollution is estimated to contribute to 40,000 early deaths in the United Kingdom as tiny particulates and exhaust fumes reach deep into the lungs and bloodstream, causing lung and heat problems.

What do people think of the plan? And Natural England teams are already, through the Catchment Sensitive Farming programme, working on the ground providing essential advice and guidance to farmers to tackle pollution to water, land and the air.

Some environmental campaigners say the scheme is vague and severely lacking in detail.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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