Researchers warn that toxic air pollution is leading cause of premature death

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23rd January 2017 17:07 - Chemicals

Researchers warn that toxic air pollution is leading cause of premature death: According to recent research, toxic air pollution is the top environmental cause of preventable premature death, beating heart disease, smoking and unhealthy diets.Researchers warn that toxic air pollution is leading cause of premature death

Figures have revealed that as the biggest cause of premature death, toxic air pollution has killed 6.5 million people annually, making it a bigger killer than violence, fire, wars and road accidents combined.

Studies have shown that exposure to toxic particles is linked to respiratory health complaints, for example chronic lung disease, asthma, as well as heart attacks, cancer, strokes and dementia. Such exposure can also result in low birth weights and delayed development in babies whose mothers were exposed to toxic particles during pregnancy. Further to this, the elderly, children and those with existing health complaints are also more affected by toxic particle exposure.

Data from the World Health Organisation have revealed that one in nine deaths in 2012 could be linked to toxic air pollution. In the United Kingdom, 14,000 could be attributed to toxic air pollution and 2,500 in Scotland.

When looking at how poor air quality affects a country it can be seen that the issue costs Scotland more than £1.1 billion in sick days and the costs to their struggling health services.

When looking at the official pollution zones in the UK - whereby the levels of toxic particles were above the legal safety limits – traffic was found to be the main cause, especially diesel vehicles.

Environmental campaigners have described the issue of toxic air pollution as a public health crisis and serious measures need to be taken as soon as possible.

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