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Sadiq Khan: ‘Every Londoner is exposed to dangerous toxic air particles’

All Londoners are exposed to the most toxic type of air pollution every single day, according to new research revealed by Mayor of London Sadiq Khan.

smog - credit London Assembly

Every area of London exceeds recommended guidelines for PM2.5. Picture credit: London Assembly.

The analysis, based on the latest updated London Atmospheric Emissions Inventory, shows that every area of London exceeds World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines for the most dangerous toxic particles known as PM2.5.

The particles are widely acknowledged to have the greatest impact on health and are known to result in 29,000 premature deaths in the UK every year. Research has also found that children exposed to these toxic pollutants are more likely to grow up with reduced lung function and develop asthma.

Yet according to the newly published research from Mr Khan, 7.9 million Londoners – nearly 95% of the capital’s population – live in areas exceeding World Health Organization air quality guidelines on PM2.5 by at least 50%.

The mayor released the report as he signed the capital up to the Breathe Life coalition organised by WHO, UN Environment and Clean Climate and Clean Air Coalition, to connect similar world cities, combine expertise, share best practice and work together to improve air quality.

The mayor also said he would look to get pollution levels to within WHO guidelines by 2030. Although around half of PM2.5 in London is from external sources outside the city, the main sources within the capital are from tyre and brake wear, construction and wood burning.

As well as calling for powers to tackle the dangerous emissions including banning wood-burning stoves in the most polluted parts of the capital, Mr Khan reiterated his plans to drive down vehicle emissions on the capital’s roads, including with the new T-Charge, which comes into force later this month.For more of the latest industry news, click here.

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for 16 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day. As Business Editor, Natalie ensures the group websites and newsletters are updated with the latest news.