BHF urges UK Government to act on new recommendations to cut air pollution

8 December 2014        

Air pollution on motorway

The British Heart Foundation is urging the UK Government to take immediate action to improve air quality following the release of a new report by the Environmental Audit Committee.

The Action on Air Quality report calls for the Government to cut air pollution levels in the UK after MPs heard from leading experts during a public inquiry over the summer.

The report includes a series of recommendations to improve air quality including tightening legislation to prevent car owners removing their diesel particulate filters and reducing the number of diesel vehicles on the road.

It also urges the Government to make the public more aware of when there is a period of high air pollution and provide advice on what to do.

Diesel vehicles are the main source of the fine particulate matter (PM2.5) the main  pollutant that is linked to causing and exacerbating heart conditions. 

The report comes after last month’s ruling from the Court of Justice of the European Union  that the UK Government must take immediate action to reduce the illegal levels of  nitrogen dioxide in the UK’s air.

The Government must act on these recommendations quickly if we are to improve the quality of the air we breathe and protect the nation’s heart health.

Simon Gillespie
Chief Executive

Simon Gillespie, Chief Executive of the British Heart Foundation, said: “Exposure to certain air pollutants can have a devastating impact on people with heart conditions, increasing their risk of a heart attack. Yet the UK continues to flout legal air pollution limits. 

The Government cannot continue to ignore this issue. We knew that air pollution was harmful to our hearts in 2011 when the last report came out. Now the evidence is even stronger. 

Enough is enough. The Government must act on these recommendations quickly if we are to improve the quality of the air we breathe and protect the nation’s heart health.”