Air Pollution: Ethnic Groups

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered on 22nd July 2020.

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Photo of Baroness Ritchie of Downpatrick Baroness Ritchie of Downpatrick Non-affiliated

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the extent to which poor air quality may disproportionately affect BAME communities.

Photo of Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park The Minister of State, Department for International Development, The Minister of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Minister of State

In 2006 the Government published a report on air quality and social deprivation in the UK. This highlighted that there are inequalities in the distribution of pollutant concentrations.

More recently, as part of the UK Plan for tackling roadside nitrogen dioxide (NO2), the Government reviewed evidence investigating the inequalities in the distributional impact of poor air quality. The published technical report highlights that air quality inequalities exist mostly in urban areas. Furthermore, the report references research conducted by Fecht et al (2015) that demonstrates that higher concentrations of NO2 and coarse particulate matter (PM10) have been observed in ethnically diverse neighbourhoods.

The Government is taking a proactive approach to tackling air pollution concentrations through our NO2 plan and Clean Air Strategy and any actions that focus on reducing the highest concentrations of harmful pollutants will disproportionately benefit ethnically diverse communities if they are located in these areas.

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