Feeds

Air pollution will kill you eight months early

Cheerful Defra report

The smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

Here's some bad news for those of you hoping to escape the forthcoming bird flu apocalypse which will, according to the usual cheerful prophets of doom, kill 98.7 per cent of the UK population by August: you're going to die eight months early anyway because of the UK's air pollution.

That's the gloomy conclusion of a Defra press release issued this week heralding a review of the Air Quality Strategy for England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Although Defra says the UK's air quality has improved over the last fifteen years - claiming that "from 1990 to 2001 the improvements have helped avoid 4,200 premature deaths per annum and 3,500 hospital admissions", and that it's meeting current objectives for "pollutants like carbon monoxide, 1,3-butadiene, benzene and lead" - there's still much to be done.

Local Environment minister Ben Bradshaw said: "Although our air is cleaner in overall terms than at any time since the industrial revolution, air pollution is not declining as quickly as expected. We need to move faster and take further measures to move us closer to meeting our objectives.

"Pollutants from our cars, ships and industrial plants are still having a marked affect on our health, reducing the average life expectancy in the UK by eight months.

"This can't continue. The measures outlined in this review would – if implemented – be a significant step forward in improving public health and our environment."

The plan? Well, the government wants "tighter European vehicle emissions standards", more incentives for less polluting vehicles, and less crap pumped out of small combustion plants and ships.

If it succeeds, by 2020 the result will be a three-month reduction in the bit of your life you've already lost to air pollution. That's to say, you'll only die five months earlier than you would have done if you'd been living in the Himalayas.

Defra is now conducting a consultation on the review of its Air Quality Strategy. More details here. ®

The Power of One Infographic

More from The Register

next story
World Solar Challenge contender claims new speed record
One charge sees Sunswift travel 500kms at over 100 km/h
SMELL YOU LATER, LOSERS – Dumbo tells rats, dogs... humans
Junk in the trunk? That's what people have
The Sun took a day off last week and made NO sunspots
Someone needs to get that lazy star cooking again before things get cold around here
Boffins discuss AI space program at hush-hush IARPA confab
IBM, MIT, plenty of others invited to fill Uncle Sam's spy toolchest, but where's Google?
Beancounters tell NASA it's too poor to fly planned mega-rocket
Space Launch System would need another $400m and a lot of time
Jurassic squawk: Dinos were Earth's early FEATHERED friends
Boffins research: Ancient dinos may all have had 'potential' fluff
Bad back? Show some spine and stop popping paracetamol
Study finds common pain-killer doesn't reduce pain or shorten recovery
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.