New research has revealed that every Londoner in the capital lives in an area exceeding World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines for the most dangerous toxic particles known as PM2.5.
The research, based on the latest updated London Atmospheric Emissions Inventory, also shows that 7.9 million Londoners – nearly 95 per cent of the capital’s population – live in areas of London that exceed the guidelines by 50 per cent or more.
The Mayor, Sadiq Khan released the damning report as he delivered a keynote speech at the ‘Every Journey, Every Child’ Conference at City Hall today and signed the capital up to the Breathe Life coalition organised by WHO, UN Environment and Clean Climate and Clean Air Coalition, to connect similar world cities, combine expertise, share best practice and work together to improve air quality.
PM2.5 are small toxic air particles which are widely acknowledged to have the greatest impact on health with both short and long-term exposure increasing the likelihood of respiratory and cardiovascular diseases.
Children exposed to these toxic pollutants are more likely to grow up with reduced lung function and develop asthma, while PM2.5 is also known to result in 29,000 premature deaths in the UK every year
New data, based on updated 2013 exposure estimates, shows that in central London the average annual levels of PM2.5 are almost double the WHO guideline limits of 10 µg/m3.
The Mayor is committed to tackling pollution in London and is determined significantly to reduce the levels of these dangerous toxic particles, aiming to get pollution levels to within WHO guidelines by 2030.