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The Real Dangers of Polluted Air in Birmingham

Posted on 23rd July 2019

In an eye-opening and detrimental report, it was recently revealed that the levels of air pollution in Birmingham are actively shortening the lives of children in the city.

The report, its findings and the consequences demonstrate the urgent need for cleaner air, as Public Health England have found air pollution to be the single largest environmental risk to public health in the U.K.

Birmingham Skyline

The Report

Commissioned by UK100 and conducted by King’s College London, the report examined NO2 and PM2.5 levels across the city. NO2 and PM2.5 have been identified as the two largest contributors to the poor health effects of air pollution.

The report was released to the public on the 8th of July 2019 and carried a wide range of insights and serious connotations.

The Findings

The findings of the report are bolstering pre-existing concerns about the state of the city’s air quality, revealing that children who are exposed to a lifetime of the city’s air are likely to lose as much as seven months from their total lifespan.

This reduction in life expectancy is worse than other major cities, including even Manchester.

One of the most striking features of the report was the revelation that air pollution is having a much more serious effect on those who live in deprived areas, particularly men.

In Erdington, up to 91 deaths a year are linked to air pollution, whereas in Edgbaston and Hall Green this number is between 50 and 60.

When you link this with the fact that around 8,000 children in the city live in the top 10% of the most deprived areas in the U.K., this becomes all the more serious.

Nationwide, it is estimated that air pollution alone causes some 36,000 deaths per year.

Smoke coming out of a chimney

The Consequences

Birmingham has already been designated as one of five cities throughout the U.K. to be required to establish clean air zones. This was due for January 2020 but had been postponed due to delays in the government supply of vehicle-checking software.

This comes as the government was forced by the courts to improve its work to limit air pollution, following a legal defeat by the organisation of environmental lawyers, Client Earth.

This new report only serves to bolster these plans and reinforce the need for action regarding air pollution.

Urban and indeed suburban and rural air pollution comes not only from vehicle exhausts but also from the by products of industry. This contributes to the same harmful effects if left uncleaned.

Real change will require not only direction from a governmental level but also individual change in the way that organisations dispose of their gaseous by-products.

At Parsons, we specialise in odour abatement, fume scrubbing and chemical absorption, helping to maintain the quality of the air that we all breathe.

To learn more about how you could reduce your contribution to life-threatening air pollution, contact Parsons today.

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