Thousands of lives in the South East are being shortened because air is heavily polluted in many places, mostly by traffic. In many areas in the UK air pollution is above the EU safe limits and each year air pollution causes 29,000 deaths and contributes to over 200,000 premature deaths. Keith has launched a campaign and produced a new publication ‘Air Pollution: The Invisible Killer’, to raise awareness of air pollution and its health impacts.
Dirty air has a greater health impact than many high profile public health issues, such as passive smoking and obesity and long term exposure to air pollution is associated with heart and lung disease. Recent research in California has shown that children growing up near motorways can suffer permanently reduced lung capacity. This is an extremely worrying finding which highlights the desperate need for more research into the health affects of air pollution. Government figures show that the health costs of just one pollutant, PM2.5, are already £15 billion each year.
Keith has written to the Secretary of State for Health, the Secretary of State for Transport and the European Commission calling for urgent action to tackle air pollution. Read Keith’s correspondence about air pollution to find out more. Keith is also meeting with local authorities across the South East to see how air pollution can be improved locally. Keith is talking to local and national media to raise awareness of air pollution. Read his national press release for more details.
Keith is calling on all his South East constituents to contact their local county council or unitary authority and lobby them to take action on air pollution. Please download a template letter to local authorities, fill in the address of your local authority from the table and send it. Air pollution is shortening our lives and it is time we took action to tackle it!