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  1. ITV Report

Yearly pollution limits broken just five days into 2017

Legal air pollution limits for the whole year have been broken just five days into 2017 in London, figures show.

Brixton Road in Lambeth is the first area to see levels of nitrogen dioxide exceed the annual hourly limits less than a week into the new year.

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European Union limits demand that maximum hourly concentrations of nitrogen dioxide, which is mostly caused by road traffic in towns and cities, are not exceeded for more than 18 hours a year.

But monitoring by the London Air Project from King's College, London, showed that the rules had been breached by 9pm on Thursday for the pollutant, which is linked to heart and lung problems and even early deaths.

The news, which saw a London street break the rules even earlier than last year when Putney High Street exceeded the annual 18-hour limit for nitrogen dioxide by January 8, prompted an angry reaction from clean air campaigners.

Other London roads are expected to exceed the limits shortly.

It's shocking that pollution limits in London have already been breached for 2017 - this shows the extent of the public health crisis we are facing.

The mix of these toxic air pollution levels with freezing temperatures poses a serious risk to people with lung conditions and can affect all of our health.

– British Lung Foundation