Lethal and illegal: London’s air pollution crisis

Air pollution is a huge and growing public health problem for the UK, and for London in particular. Presenting innovative new modelling that illustrates the scale of both the problem and the policy changes required to remedy it at the European, national and local levels, this report presents detailed analysis of the promise and limitations of current clean air measures, and the decisive steps that must be taken next. Air pollution has significant impacts on public health. Across the UK as many as 40,000 deaths a year are attributed to outdoor air pollution, mainly from nitrogen oxides (NOX), including nitrogen dioxide (NO2), and particulates (PM10 and PM2.5). The problem is particularly acute in London, where the mortality impact of PM2.5 and NO2 pollution in 2010 was estimated at 141,000 life years lost, or the equivalent of up to 9,400 premature deaths. Air pollution is therefore the second most significant factor impacting on public health in London, after smoking.