Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Health and air quality

George Ferguson is spot on to highlight the serious health effects of air pollution (By George, Post, March 29). Each year 24,000 people die prematurely in our country because of it. Up to one in five of all lung cancers are caused by it. Children are particularly vulnerable as they get a bigger dose per unit of body mass. Those already suffering ill-health eg from asthma, bronchitis, heart problems or obesity and so on are at particular risk - though air pollution causes coughing, chest pains and lung irritation in everyone.

It’s a stark reminder of what should be self-evident – that people are a part of the environment and that their health and wellbeing are dependent upon it. I’m not shocked by the figures (which some sources state are higher than I've given) in the sense that I’ve worked to point out the problem for some decades now. We really must join the dots and see connections: types of development such as large supermarkets; car dependency and congestion; air pollution; poor health; reduced wellbeing and quality of life. Greens haven’t campaigned against air pollution just because its an environmental issue – its also a development, transport, planning, economic, health and social issue. It needs to be tackled by joined up thinking, which we so clearly have not done if you just look around the city and the country.

1 comment:

  1. Glen.
    See www.basicsashtongate.co.uk
    for a more in-depth peek at the air quality/sainsburys connections.

    We've also looked at sustainability this week.



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