Air in Norwich 'too dangerous to breathe'

Air pollution in Norwich is 'too dangerous to breath' Credit: PA

Air pollution in Norwich is above the level considered too dangerous to breathe by the World Health Organisation.

A new report shows Norwich is one of 44 cities and towns in the UK that fail the organisation's test for fine sooty particles in the air.

Exposure to the particles, known as PM2.5s, should not exceed 10 micrograms per cubic metre of air, according to the health organisation.

Norwich has a PM2.5s concentration of 13 micrograms per cubic metre.

Its levels are worse than Liverpool and only just below London and Birmingham.

Each year, outdoor air pollution is estimated to cause 40,000 premature deaths in the UK.

Dr Toby Hillman, one of the report's authors from the Royal College of Physicians, said: "There isn't a safe limit for the amount of pollution that'sbeen defined as yet and we know the effects of poor air quality run from cradle to grave; it's a lifetime threat to human health.

"This is a really direct and tangible impact on UK health from the drivers ofclimate change, and taking action on air quality should be a priority."

Diesel-powered vehicles, which generate pollution particles, were one of the"key drivers" of poor air quality in towns and cities in the UK, said DrHillman.

"Unfortunately previous policies about encouraging diesel adoption have led to an increase in the amount of diesel related pollution," he said.