Health impacts of air pollution in the UK

A new study concludes that around 40,000 deaths are attributable each year in the UK to exposure to outdoor air pollution. The health problems resulting from exposure to air pollution have a high cost, adding up to more than €25.6 billion every year. The report offers a number of reform proposals to tackle air pollution. These include: 

  • Application of the polluter-pays principle. Political leaders at a local, national and EU level must introduce tougher regulations, including reliable emissions testing for cars.
  • Local authorities need to act to protect public health when air pollution levels are high and have the power to take mitigation actions such as traffic restrictions.
  • Air pollution monitoring results should be clearly and proactively communicated to the public.
  • Further research into the economic benefits of air pollution mitigation policies is needed.


The report “Every breath we take: the lifelong impact of air pollution” is available at:

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