It has been revealed that every single person living in London is breathing in, daily, air that exceeds global guidelines for one of the most dangerous toxic particles — PM2.5
Every area in the capital was found to exceed limits, with the pollutant having the greatest impact on health than any other, as it increases the likelihood of both respiratory and cardiovascular diseases.
The report was released by City Hall and also reveals that 95 per cent of the capital’s population live in areas that exceed WHO guidelines of 10 microgrammes per cubic metre by at least 50 per cent.
London Mayor, Sadiq Khan, said that:
This research is another damning indictment of the toxic air that all Londoners are forced to breathe every day.”
Reducing these emissions and achieving WHO guidelines will require coordinated action by governments and cities around the world and a shift towards walking, cycling and using public transport, as well as new technologies like electric cars.”
Mr. Kahn wrote to Environment Secretary Michael Gove only last week asking for greater powers to tackle air pollution not caused by vehicles.
This included the proposed introduction of a network of “zero-emission zones” where the burning of both wood and coal is prohibited.
Erik Solheim, head of UN Environment, said, “this support for the Breathe Life campaign means that millions of people can cease being hostage to toxic fumes. It sets an example of positive action that we hope cities around the world will follow.”
Figures also reveal that across the UK, 37 out of 43 zones are still in breach of pollution limits, the same figure as two years ago.
This is despite a court order to bring pollution levels down.