Report on costs of air pollution branded as "nonsense"

A report by environmental economists which put a price of £11 billion per year on illness and premature deaths caused by traffic pollution has been slammed as "nonsense" by a leading health expert. Nevertheless, the Department of Health is preparing a similar study to inform an official review of the UK air quality strategy.

The report, for the British Lung Foundation (BLF), concludes that "vehicle users pay only around a third of the costs that they impose on society." It was prepared by a group of noted environmental economists, led by David Pearce of the Centre for Social and Economic Research on the Global Environment. It is mostly a rehash of earlier work, notably Professor Pearce's 1996 book Blueprint 5: The True Costs of Road Transport.

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