THE Scottish and UK governments have come under fire over their failure to act on deadly air pollution blighting cities and towns north of the Border.
Environmental campaigners have hit out at ministers for delaying efforts to tackle the problem, which they say has resulted in further unnecessary deaths from breathing in toxic fumes.
Recent official figures from Public Health England blamed the effects of air pollution for killing around 2,000 Scots every year.
Exposure can lead to premature death from lung cancer, heart attacks and strokes, experts have warned.
The World Health Organisation’s International Agency for Research on Cancer has classified the cocktail of chemicals in traffic fumes as a leading cause of deaths from cancer. Studies have also shown long-term exposure can stunt growth of unborn babies and increase the risk of heart disease and breathing problems such as asthma.
Edinburgh, Glasgow, Perth, Dundee, and Aberdeen all suffer from dangerously high levels of air pollution, while 35 hotspots across 15 Scottish local authority areas exceed safety levels that should have been met in 2005.