We can and should go further to reduce air pollution says Chief Medical Officer


We can and should go further to reduce air pollution – and it is technically possible to do so, says England’s Chief Medical Officer (CMO) Professor Chris Whitty, in his annual report published today (Thursday 8 December 2022).

Outdoor air pollution in England has reduced significantly since the 1980s – but it still poses significant health threats including increasing heart disease, stroke, lung disease, cancer and asthma exacerbation. It also leads to increased mortality and is associated with impacts on lung development in children.

The report – Professor Chris Whitty’s third as CMO – highlights the improvements made to outdoor air pollution and offers solutions to continue progress.

It says that indoor air pollution is becoming an increasing proportion of the overall problem as outdoor air pollution improves.

The CMO’s recommendations on outdoor air pollution include:

  • accelerating the electrification of light vehicles and public transport
  • innovation to reduce air pollution from non-exhaust sources such as tyres, and the need for a greater range of options for reducing air pollution from heavy and specialised vehicles
  • local urban planning should support reducing air pollution locally – such as reducing air pollution near schools and healthcare settings
  • in agriculture, ammonia air pollution emissions could be reduced through modified farming practices, such as applying slurry directly to soil
  • the NHS has committed to halving its contribution to poor air quality within a decade

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Gov.uk, 08-12-22
; https://www.gov.uk/government/news/we-can-and-should-go-further-to-reduce-air-pollution-says-chief-medical-officer