Fleet News

Poor air kills 24,000 people a year in UK, says report

THE Government has confirmed its commitment to improving air quality after a new report suggested poor air could be responsible for hastening the deaths of up to 24,000 vulnerable people a year. Responding to the report, which was published by the Committee on the Medical Effects of Air Pollutants, the Government said the findings justified its stance on air quality and pledged further measures to tackle vehicle and industrial emissions.

Although the report authors said their study was inconclusive, Chief Medical Officer Sir Kenneth Calman said they were taking the issue very seriously and further study had already started. Launching the report, health minister Frank Dobson said the report confirmed that air pollution damaged health and the Government was right to take a hard line on air quality - evidenced by Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott's appeal for a Europe-wide campaign last week.

Environment minister Michael Meacher added: 'This report justifies the importance the Government attaches to measures for reducing air pollution. That is why I am determined to press ahead as quickly as possible with the implementation of the National Air Quality Strategy. And in Europe we are already close to agreeing significantly tighter standards for vehicle emissions and for fuel quality.'

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