Air Pollution

Health written question – answered on 2nd July 2012.

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Photo of Lorely Burt Lorely Burt Chair of the Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Party

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what estimate his Department has made of the number of premature deaths due to poor air quality in each of the last 20 years, by region; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Anne Milton Anne Milton The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health

Air pollution is not recorded as a specific cause of death. However, the Committee on the Medical Effects of Air Pollutants estimated(1) on the basis of 2008 data, that fine particulate air pollution (measured as PM2.5) had an effect on the mortality of the UK population equivalent to 29,000 deaths in 2008.

The Public Health Outcomes Framework, published in January 2012, contains an indicator of deaths attributable to air pollution (measured as PM2.5) and this data will be available at a higher tier local authority level.

(1) “The Mortality Effects of Long-Term Exposure to Particulate Air Pollution in the United Kingdom” is available at:

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