Air quality monitoring data has revealed that the Aberdeen thoroughfare has become the first street in Scotland to smash through legal limits for air pollution in 2014.
Each day, automatic monitors check the air for tiny dust particles that are harmful to health, known as PM10s.
Legal pollution limits are breached when the amount of these PM10 particles in the air exceeds a specified threshold more than seven times per year.
On Aberdeen’s Market Street that legal threshold has already been crossed more than 20 times this year.
Only one other street in the whole of Scotland has also broken the same limit: Salamander Street, in Edinburgh.
The news follows a report released last week which estimates that 80 people die each year in the Aberdeen City Council area, from conditions such as asthma and lung disease, which are exacerbated by air pollution.
Emilia Hannah, Air Pollution Campaigner at Friends of the Scotland, likened the impact of the pollution problem on Market Street to the effects of passive smoking.
She said: “Air pollution kills more than 80 people each year in Aberdeen, with people dying from asthma attacks, strokes, heart attacks and lung cancers.
“This silent killer is like passive smoking because people cannot control what they breathe in.
“Traffic fumes are the main cause of air pollution, so we need to see the council working together with the government to clean up transport. We need better provision for pedestrians, cyclists, and cheaper public transport. People deserve to breathe clean air rather than being forced to inhale toxic fumes.”
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