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Air pollution could contribute to thousands of deaths in the Midlands

Credit: PA images

Thousands are at risk of heart attacks and stroke deaths in the Midlands due to toxic air, a charity is warning.

The British Heart Foundation says air pollution presents a ‘major public health emergency'.

They're calling for stricter air pollution limits as it launches a new awareness campaign.

The county with the highest number of estimated deaths is Lincolnshire at 3,600.

Following that is:

  • Staffordshire - 3,300
  • Derbyshire - 3,200
  • Nottinghamshire - 3,000
  • Leicestershire - 2,600
  • Worcestershire and Northamptonshire - 1,700
15,000
deaths in the next decade in the West Midlands because of toxic air.
12,000
deaths in the next decade in the East Midlands because of toxic air.
Credit: PA images

This come as the charity launches their 'You're full of it' campaign to highlight the dangerous levels of air pollution we're inhaling in towns and cities across the UK every day.

They're calling for World Health Organisation (WHO) guidelines on particulate matter (PM) to be adopted in to UK law, and met by 2030.

As it’s estimated that up to 11,000 heart and circulatory disease deaths are attributable to particulate air pollution in the UK every year.

“We need to ensure that stricter, health-based air quality guidelines are adopted into law to protect the health of the nation as a matter of urgency.

"Clean Air legislation in the 1950s and 60s, and more recently the smoking ban in public places, show that government action can improve the air we breathe.

“Decision makers across the country owe it to future generations to help stop this alarming figure from becoming a reality. That’s why we are urging people to contact their MP and demand a change in the law.”

– British Heart Foundation, Executive Director of Healthcare Innovation Jacob West:
Credit: PA images

In response to the finds of the British Heart Foundation the Government said they 'stepping up the pace' to improve air quality.

"We all know the impact that air pollution has on communities around the UK, which is why the Government is stepping up the pace and taking urgent action to improve air quality. "Alongside our Clean Air Strategy, which has been praised by the World Health Organisation as 'an example for the rest of the world to follow', our landmark Environment Bill will include a commitment to a legally binding target on fine particulate matter which will improve the quality of millions of people's lives."

– Environment Minister Rebecca Pow said:

"The climate emergency is also a health emergency, with thousands of avoidable deaths and hospital admissions every year linked to air pollution, which is why the NHS is playing its part by taking action to reduce carbon emissions, including by cutting traffic by reducing the need for millions of hospital appointments through better services. "With air pollution contributing to around 40,000 deaths a year and four in ten children at school in high pollution communities, it's clear that tackling air pollution needs to be everyone's urgent business."

– NHS medical director Professor Stephen Powis said: