Shocking Report Says Equivalent of 29,000 Deaths a Year are Caused by UK Air Pollution

By Gary Cutlack on at

Public Health England has released a complex report covering how air pollution impacts on the health of the nation, suggesting that the equivalent of 29,000 people per year may be dying from inhaling the man-made particles pumped out by cars, power stations and factories.

The report summary says that: "...long term exposure to air pollution had an effect equivalent to 29,000 deaths a year in the UK in 2008," before suggesting that a governmental policy switch to pushing walking and cycling (good luck with that) is needed to help improves the UK's air quality.

The full report published by COMEAP [PDF] is pretty damning. It says that eliminating pollution could add an average of six months to the lifespan of everyone in the country, further suggesting that removing all "human made" matter from the air could "...save the UK population approximately 36.5 million life years over the next 100 years."

So 36.5 million life years works out to about 460,000 entire people dying over the next century if we do nothing about the issue of air pollution, with the report stating very clearly that: "...a reduction in air pollution postpones deaths, so that on average people live longer."

Best move to the country and grow vegetables. [PHE]

Image credit: Pollution from Shutterstock