Air Pollution

Health written question – answered on 8th September 2014.

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Photo of Andrew Gwynne Andrew Gwynne Shadow Minister (Health)

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what measures Public Health England is considering in developing a programme to reduce the deaths attributable to air pollution.

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

Public Health England (PHE) has begun developing a programme in support of national and local government to reduce the estimated 25,000 deaths each year in England attributable to air pollution. Long-term exposure to air pollution is understood to be a contributory factor to deaths from respiratory and, particularly, cardiovascular disease, i.e. unlikely to be the sole cause of deaths of individuals. This means that it is likely that air pollution contributes a smaller amount to the deaths of a larger number of exposed individuals rather than being solely responsible for a number of deaths equivalent to the calculated figure of 'attributable deaths'.

Recognising the role of Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and measures already taken, PHE will work with national and local stakeholders and public health partners to develop advice and further actions which can be taken to reduce the health burden caused by particulate air pollution at the local authority level.

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