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22 Dec 2010 01:12:03

Airborne pollution 'causes 29,000 early deaths a year'

Airborne pollution 'causes 29,000 early deaths a year'
A new study has suggested airborne pollution may have contributed to the premature death of up to 200,000 Brits.

The Committee on the Medical Effects of Air Pollutants (COMEAP) study said such pollution, especially particles released from cars and other road transport, caused the loss of 340,000 hours of life in 2008.

It concluded this equated to around 29,000 premature deaths per year and could have contributed to the loss of two years of life for 200,000 people in the longer term.

Professor Jon Ayres, chairman of COMEAP, said the report plainly demonstrates the link between airborne pollution and a decrease in public health.

"Expressing the effects of air pollution numerically is difficult and this is the most detailed examination yet published,' he said, adding: 'Importantly, it shows reducing concentrations would lead to significant gains for public health.'

A reduction in such pollutants could be achieved by more people driving electric cars in Britain.

The government recently announced the nine vehicles which will be covered by the Plug-In Car grant, with the Mitsubishi i-MiEV, the Smart fortwo electric drive and the Peugeot iOn being the first to become available in January.  ADNFCR-1235-ID-800306683-ADNFCR

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