Health agency launches air quality review

Public Health England (PHE) has kicked off an in-depth review of the health burden of air pollution, while health secretary Matt Hancock has pledged to cut emissions from the NHS.

“We cannot underestimate the very real impact that dirty air - this slow and deadly poison - is having on our lives, our health and our NHS,” he said. “This review will help us map out how much disease is caused by dirty air and what steps we are taking to prevent this - something which is at the heart of our work to help people live longer, healthier lives.”

Aside from current impacts, the review will consider the number of new cases of disease that the Clean Air Strategy could prevent, according to the agency. In May last year, PHE estimated that 2.4 million cases would result by 2035 if current levels of air pollution persist. Meanwhile, around 50,000 cases of coronary heart disease could be avoided if fine particulate concentrations were cut by only one microgram per cubic metre, the agency concluded.

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