The Royal College of Physicians (RCP) has written to Baroness Jenny Jones to express its strong support for legally enforceable targets to reduce the amount of fine particulate matter (PM2.5).
The RCP’s letter also summarised the findings of its 2016 report (with the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health), ‘Every breath we take’, which examined the health impacts of exposure to air pollution. The report found that:
- Around 40,000 premature deaths every year in the UK are attributable to exposure to outdoor air pollution.
- The health problems resulting from exposure to air pollution have a high cost to our health services and to business. In the UK these costs add up to more than £20bn every year.
- People in lower socio-economic backgrounds tend to live in environments where they are more exposed to air pollution and therefore suffer more from the effects of exposure to high levels of air pollution.
- The public health response to air pollution should always be about protecting humans and the environment in ways that are socially inclusive and equitable, globally and across multiple generations.
Read the RCP’s full letter here (pdf).