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Mums for Lungs campaigning in London

The surprising human cost of pollution in Somerset

FINE particles of pollutants in the air are responsible for the loss of 2,356 life years in Somerset each year – that’s the equivalent to 33 people living beyond the age of 70.

The surprising figure for such a rural county was revealed by MP Geraint Davies on a Zoom meeting with the Somerset Labour Party.

The meeting included a discussion on the campaign to include World Health Organisation (WHO) guidelines in the Environment Bill 2019-21 currently before Parliament.

Mr Davies, Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Air Pollution, said: “Air pollution is responsible for 64,000 premature deaths in the UK each year and was registered as a cause of death of nine-year-old Ella Kissi-Debrah.

“For Somerset alone, Public Health England estimates 2,356 life years are lost each year due to PM2.5 (fine particles).

“These figures don’t include the impact of other pollutants such as nitrogen dioxide (NO2), but already match deaths linked to alcohol.

“This is a nationwide issue, and as we approach COP 26, it’s more important than ever that we show leadership.”

Also joining the meeting was Jemima Hartshorn who heads up Mums For Lungs – a grass roots community organisation which campaigns #VoteCleanAir to improve public health through improving air quality. Jemima is at the helm of the campaign to get air pollution guidelines into law.

An interview with Jemima can be found here.


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