On Saturday, DEFRA published its plans to tackle the illegal levels of air pollution and launched a consultation to assess what local actions can be taken to improve air quality. Earlier this year, the Government was found guilty by the Supreme Court of failing to bring areas of high air pollution within acceptable EU levels.
Jennifer Boon, Policy Manager at the British Heart Foundation, said: “Our research has continuously shown that levels of air pollution can shorten people’s lives and increase their risk of heart disease and stroke. This is a deadly problem and the Government has so far failed to fulfil its duty to protect public health by making sure the air we breathe is safe. We hope this is the beginning of quick and effective action by the Government to tackle the issue; any kind of delay in bringing air pollution levels in line with European law takes its toll on the health of the UK population. These draft plans are the first step. The BHF will be examining them to ensure that they are ambitious enough to protect the nation’s heart health.”
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