London air pollution as bad as ‘smoking 154 cigarettes every year’

Air quality in London is so poor it is currently the equivalent of indirectly smoking 154 cigarettes a year, according to new research.

A number of measures have been implemented in London to try and reduce pollution, including the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ), which is set to expand later this year.

But the capital is still not yet leading the way when it comes to clean air. 

London has come in ninth place – with Northampton, Nottingham and Bristol scooping the top three places.

Levels of air pollution in the capital were showing as ‘very high’ in Greater London at the end of January, according to the Defra website.

Air pollution alerts are sent when levels rise high enough to affect health – but there aren’t any currently in place.

The study has found most of the worst culprits are located in the south east of England. 

Northampton was the highest, with residents inhaling the same as 189 cigarettes a year. 

According to one study by the British Heart Foundation, approximately one in every 20 deaths in Northampton can be linked to air pollution.

In the North, the most polluted city is Kingston upon Hull, where residents indirectly inhale the equivalent of 161 cigarettes annually. 

Number of cigarettes you’re indirectly smoking each year by city

  1. Northampton – 189
  2. Nottingham – 181
  3. Bristol – 163
  4. Southampton – 162
  5. Kingston Upon Hull – 161
  6. Cardiff – 160
  7. Southend-on-Sea – 157
  8. Norwich – 157
  9. Leeds – 155
  10. London – 154
  11. Stoke – 149

The number goes down drastically if you look further afield to Scotland.

Both Glasgow and Edinburgh possessed significantly better air quality, at 92 and 87 cigarettes indirectly smoked. 

HouseFresh, which compiled the data, said: ‘Berkeley’s Earth describes a rule-of-thumb that compares exposure to PM2.5 particles to cigarettes smoked: one cigarette per day is the rough equivalent of a PM2.5 level of 22 µg/m3. 

‘We converted that value to cigarettes as per Berkeley’s Earth rule-of-thumb and multiplied the result by 365 to obtain how many cigarettes you’ve indirectly smoked during a year.’

London air pollution as bad as ‘smoking 154 cigarettes every year’ | Metro News

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This entry was posted in Air Quality, Europe, Health Effects of Air Pollution, London, Research on Air Pollution in the UK, UK and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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