POLLUTION WIPES 9YRS OFF YOUR LIFE.
POOR air quality in our polluted cities could be wiping nine years off some people's lives, according to MPs.
Up to 50,000 people are dying early because of pollution in Britain - and the country is facing millions of pounds in fines from Europe unless we clean up our act, the cross-party Environmental Audit Committee report warns.
Committee chairman Tim Yeo MP said: "Air pollution probably causes more deaths than passive smoking, traffic accidents or obesity, yet it receives little attention from government or the media.
"In the worst-affected areas this invisible killer could be taking years off the lives of people most at risk, such as those with asthma.
Much more needs to be done to save lives and reduce the enormous burden air pollution is placing on the NHS."
Poor air quality has been linked to asthma, chronic bronchitis, heart and circulatory disease and cancer.
Averaged across the whole UK population it is estimated that it shortens lives by up to eight months.
Estimated early deaths from air pollution vary between 35,000 and 50,000 a year. Nitrogen dioxide levels in some parts of our cities are 20% above the European average.
Associated health costs from particulate pollution have been estimated at up to pounds 20billion a year.
The report concludes: "The costs to the country from air pollution are enormous. The UK should be ashamed of its poor air quality and the harm this causes."
50,000 people are dying early because of pollution on Britain's streets
KILLERS IN OUR MIDST
POLLUTANTS: Nitrogen oxides. Reacts with other pollutants to form nitrogen dioxide.
OZONE: Formed from pollutants such as nitrogen oxide and volatile organic compounds.
PARTICULATES: Tiny particles from sulphates, nitrates, ammonia, sodium chloride, carbon, mineral dust and water.
SOURCES: Industry accounts for 46% of nitrogen oxides and 36% of particulates. Transport - 30% of nitrogen dioxide and 18% of particulates.
FUMING Air fears