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Tuesday 25th June 2019

Exhaust fumes twice as deadly as roads

18th April 2012

New research has suggested that air pollution from exhaust fumes kills more than twice as many people as road accidents in Britain.


US experts say that more than 5,000 people die prematurely from conditions like lung cancer and heart disease because of emissions and the team from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology claims that exhaust fumes from aeroplanes cause a further 2,000 deaths annually.

It added that emissions from the energy and industrial sectors and pollution originating from Europe bring the overall total up to 19,000 deaths per year in Britain.

But in 2010 in the UK, official figures show that 1,850 people were killed as a result of road accidents.

The study was led by Professor Steven Barrett who said: “It does appear to be the case that air pollution from road traffic causes more deaths per year than the number who die on the roads.

“But those who die from air pollution tend to die about 10 years earlier than they would otherwise, whereas people who die in road traffic accidents might be on average middle aged, so it is likely that road traffic accidents cause more loss of life years overall than air pollution.”

The study was published in the Environmental Science and Technology journal.

It suggested that 40% of the major pollutant came from abroad rather than from Britain.

A separate study by scientists from the Harvard School of Public Health and published in PLoS ONE journal claims that long-term exposure to air pollution raises the risk of various health problems in later life.


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