Air pollution

A narrow road outside a central London school is being closed during rush hour to protect children from traffic and pollution.

Bollards are put up either side of Macklin Street in Camden from between 08:30-09:15 and 15:15-16:00.

St Joseph's Catholic Primary School said the 800m (2,600ft) long road was too dangerous for the school children.

Stricter EU emissions testing for large vehicles means modern diesel cars produce 10 times more NOx per litre of fuel

 

Modern diesel cars produce 10 times more toxic air pollution than heavy trucks and buses, new European data has revealed.

The stark difference in emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOx) is due to the much stricter testing applied to large vehicles in the EU, according to the researchers behind a new report. They say the same strict measures must be applied to cars.

Researchers have estimated that, annually, almost 3 000 deaths (i.e. 20% of mortality) in Barcelona, Spain, are premature, and would be preventable if residents lived in urban environments that met international exposure recommendations for physical activity, air pollution, noise, heat and access to green spaces. The results emphasise the need to reduce motorised traffic, promote active and public transport, and provide adequate green space to encourage exercise and mitigate the impacts of environmental hazards in cities.

A new WHO air quality model confirms that 92% of the world’s population lives in places where air quality levels exceed WHO limits. The new data represents the most detailed outdoor air pollution-related health data, by country, ever reported by WHO. Information is presented via an interactive map, highlighting areas within countries that exceed air quality limits. 

 

School children take part in an anti-air pollution campaign in London, UK. Photograph: Chris Radburn/PA

An inhaler that protects the lungs against air pollution has been developed by scientists and could help the many millions of people affected by toxic air to avoid its worst effects.

The inhaler delivers a molecule, first found in bacteria in the Egyptian desert, which stabilises water on the surface of the lung cells to form a protective layer. It is expected to be available as an inexpensive, over-the-counter product.

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Air pollution and noise pollution have a negative impact on all of society — but some groups are more affected than others. Lower socioeconomic status is generally associated with poorer health, and both air and noise pollution contribute to a wide range of other factors influencing human health.

But do these health inequalities arise because of increased exposure to pollution, increased sensitivity to exposure, increased vulnerabilities, or some combination?

Air pollution may shorten the life of people who are suffering from lung cancer, researchers have found.

The findings, which add to growing evidence about the health impact of airborne toxins, show that those diagnosed with early-stage lung cancer are most at risk of an early death. That applies in particular to people with adenocarcinoma, the commonest form on non-small cell lung cancer, which accounts for 80% of cases of the disease.

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