Did you know that as many people (4,000) died from air pollution in London in 2008 as died in the Great Smog of 1952? That is the conclusion reached by the Environmental Audit Committee (EAC) in 'Air Quality: A follow up report.' Therefore, only smoking causes more premature deaths. In 1952, it was short-term exposure to heavy air pollution that caused the deaths. Today's air pollution deaths come from long-term exposure to PM2.5 pollution which consists of tiny soot particles coated with organic compounds that are inhaled deep into the lungs.
The EAC's inquiry was undertaken to assess how far government had implemented processes outlined in its November 2010 response to an earlier report. They slam government for failure to act on what is seen as a major public health crisis and single out London Mayor Boris Johnson for his failure to achieve acceptable air quality in London.
Simon Birkett, Founder and Director of Clean Air in London (CAL) welcomed the report and said. 'No Parliamentary Select Committee can ever have published a more damning report of a Government's failure to protect its people from harm. Furthermore, CAL has found hard evidence that the Government has not considered the glaring socio-economic impacts of this invisible public health crisis.'
CAL notes the following air pollution crisis points:
Birkett continued 'Clean Air in London supports wholeheartedly the EAC's recommendations which include setting up a Cabinet Office lead Ministerial Group to oversee delivery of a new cross government air quality strategy. Only the Prime Minister and the Deputy Prime Minister have the authority to respond to and accept the EAC's report and recommendations. They must do so urgently.'
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