Air Pollution

Health written question – answered on 28th October 2013.

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Photo of Luciana Berger Luciana Berger Shadow Minister (Public Health)

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what recent assessment his Department has made of the effect of air pollution on public health; and what steps the Government is taking to tackle this problem.

Photo of Jane Ellison Jane Ellison The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health

The main health impact of air pollution is the effect on mortality of long-term exposure to fine particulate matter. The Committee on the Medical Effects of Air Pollution estimated(1), on the basis of 2008 data, that fine particulate matter (measured as PM2.5) had an effect on the mortality of the United Kingdom population equivalent to 29,000 deaths in 2008.


The Public Health Outcomes Framework(2) has an indicator of deaths attributable to long-term exposure to air pollution (measured as PM2.5) and this contains an estimate of the fraction of mortality attributable to fine particulate matter in 2010 for all upper tier and unitary authorities in England.


With regard to what steps the Government is taking to tackle this problem I refer the hon. Member to the written answer given by the then Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, my hon. Friend Richard Benyon, on 3 June 2013, Hansard, column 784W, to Lyn Brown.

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