A recent study just revealed that the UK has some serious pollution issues. In fact, there are nearly 2,000 locations throughout the country that have been determined to have air pollution figures that are higher than what is thought to be safe.
The biggest contributor to the pollution is in the form of nitrogen dioxide. The gas is generated primarily from vehicles and it happens to be one of the most harmful pollutants in the air. It causes lung irritation and can lead to respiratory illnesses, in addition to complicating other bodily systems.
The weather hasn’t been helping the problem at all, either. February was unseasonably warm in the UK, and that meant there wasn’t much wind either. As a result, the dirty air tended to just sit over the country. It was so bad that during the last week of February, London’s mayor issued a high pollution alert, the city’s first since last July.
The good news is that the country is taking steps to remedy the issue. Next month, London is launching a new plan that will make the city an “ultra-low emission zone.” The plan is expected to cut vehicle emissions by up to 45%.
Air samples were tested at several, specific locations around the country, from Earl’s Court station in London to various points on the roadways throughout the UK. The data was gathered by the organization “Friends of the Earth.” The group is using the collected data to demand stronger action from the law makers. They’ve said that 2,000 locations across the UK with unsafe air quality numbers is a serious concern that could be affecting the health of millions of citizens. The organization stressed that the study revealed that air pollution is not just an issue in big cities, but in the smaller towns as well.
Air pollution can be linked to everything from heart disease to dementia to birth defects. Air pollution is particularly dangerous for children, whose lungs are still developing and prone to lifelong diseases that result from overexposure to airborne pollutants.