Toxic air ‘is linked to a new illness every year’ expert warns

AIR pollution will put health and social systems in the UK under increasing strain, an expert warns. Professor Frank Kelly said filthy air is linked to new illnesses every year, and not just associated with the lungs.

A government research group last month found pollution is likely to increase the risk of dementia. And even small amounts can increase the risk of death, a study released this week discovered.

Professor Kelly, from the school of public health at Imperial College London, said: “Over the last 10 to 15 years, research has shown that the effects go way beyond the lungs.

“Every year there’s something new linked to it. Some researchers suggest it’s linked to poorer skin conditions, others have linked it to obesity, and even childhood obesity.

“It affects metabolism and upsets some of the hormonal balance. This leads to changes which we just associated with overeating. But it’s more complicated than that.

“We used to think air pollution was bad for your lungs. We worried about asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.”

Prof Kelly warned people to be aware of exposure within their homes. He said if people cook with gas or fry a lot of food, they produce significant levels of pollution indoors.

He added: “Increasingly, we’re aware you get exposed to a lot of pollution in your home, just through lifestyle. We’ve changed the way we clean our homes enormously.

“Our parents would probably have used vinegar and water for cleaning.

“Now we’ve got these complex cleaning agents, which have a whole range of pretty toxic chemicals in them – that’s why they’re so good at removing biological contaminants.

“But, on the other hand, residual chemicals end up in our home and we’re breathing them in.”

Toxic air ‘is linked to a new illness every year’ expert warns | UK | News | Express.co.uk

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