London's Silent Killer Worse than Feared

Deaths from air pollution expected to rise dramatically

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London-wide Assembly Members

Darren Johnson (Green)

Murad Qureshi AM

Murad Qureshi (Labour)

Caroline Pidgeon Liberal Democrat

Clean Air in London

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London wide Assembly Member Murad Qureshi has hit out at the Mayor of London’s “truly appalling record on tackling air pollution” after new research from Clean Air London estimated that by 2020 the number of Londoners dying prematurely as a result of air pollution will rise to 6,851 per year.

Clean Air London also suggested that the number of people currently dying as a result of air pollution could be as high as 7,500 a year in London. Commenting on the research Murad Qureshi described the figures as ‘catastrophic’ saying they revealed just how bad the silent killer of air pollution had got.

The data which was released this week by Simon Birkett of Clean Air London is drawn from a study commissioned by the Mayor as part of the Health Impact Assessment for the proposed Ultra Low Emission Zone and states that current estimates suggest 6,851 Londoners could die each year by 2020 as a consequence of the capital’s air pollution problem.

Prior to this study, it was believed that 4,300 lives were prematurely lost in the capital each year as a result of air pollution. The new figures include analysis of the impact of additional categories of pollutants which are known to be detrimental to public health.

In the summer the Mayor provided more details on an Ultra-Low Emission Zone but the scheme would only cover a small area of London and won’t come into effect until after 2020. Murad Qureshi has welcomed the scheme but said it doesn’t go far enough.

Murad Qureshi AM, Labour London wide Assembly Member, said:

“For years we have known air pollution is the capital’s silent killer, now we know just how bad the situation has got. For 4,300 Londoners to prematurely die as a consequence of air pollution was shocking enough. The fact that the real figure is nearer 7,500 it is truly catastrophic.

“Boris Johnson has a truly appalling record on tackling air pollution. It has taken six years for him to wake up to the scale of the capital’s air quality crisis. His proposals for an Ultra-Low Emission Zone are not only unambitious but are designed to leave the problem for his successor to grapple with.

“Londoners want to see the proposed Ultra Low Emission Zone made bigger, stronger and more effective. Quite frankly, if these new figures don’t cause the Mayor to wake up and take action, nothing will”

December 3, 2014

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