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Most UK areas still breach pollution limits, report says

Most UK areas still breach pollution limits, report says

The UK Government has this week published the latest air pollution data. The figures show that very little progress has been made towards meeting the EU’s legal limits of NO2 with 36 out of 43 local authority areas still having illegal levels, according to analysis published by ClientEarth.

The figures, published under the EU Ambient Air Quality directive, which came into force in 2010, show that in 2018 Greater London was over two times the EU’s annual limit of 40µg/m3. South Wales, the West Midlands and Glasgow aren’t far behind at at least 1.5 times the threshold. 

ClientEarth’s clean air campaigns and policy manager, Andrea Lee, said: ‘Almost ten years after legal limits should have been met, it is astounding that only 7 out of 43 zones have legal levels of air pollution. This is not simply a failure by the government to comply with its legal duties but, most importantly, it is a failure to protect the health of people across the country from toxic air.’

Poor air quality affects health and is estimated to be responsible for the equivalent of 40,000 premature deaths each year in the UK and has been shown to impact every organ in the body. Recently researchers called for a much stronger push to get people out of their cars.

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