UK medical professionals reach out to PM about air pollutiontext_fields
Members of the UK Health Alliance on Climate Change have written to Prime Minister Boris Johnson to bring down the levels of air pollution to the limits recommended by the World Health Organisation. The letter recommended that the reduction in limits of PM2.5 be included in the environment bill.
The letter was written in response to the death of nine-year-old school student Ella Kissi-Debrah due to inhaling toxic air.
The letter read that the members are urging the government to use the environment bill to make a legally binding commitment to reduce fine particle pollution in the UK to below the maximum level recommended by the WHO by 2030. The bill is scheduled to return to parliament this week.
Following the death of Ella, Johnson's government said that it will set new targets for reducing air pollution in 2022 and promised to hold a public consultation next January. The experts pointed out that air pollution is among the greatest determinants of health. And it contributes to serious and chronic health conditions that affect every organ in the body.
The coroner Philip Barlow had ruled in a landmark move that air pollution was indeed the cause of Ella's death which took place in 2013. Ella was exposed to nitrogen dioxide and particulate matter (PM) pollution during her life. Traffic emissions are the major source of PMs. Inhaling toxic air exacerbated her asthma.
The experts mentioned that air pollution is contributing to lung conditions that make people vulnerable to viruses as well. The letter also urged members of the Lords to back an amendment by Maggie Jones to introduce WHO-compliant targets for PM2.5 pollution.
Leaders of the British Medical Association, more than 20 nursing colleges, the Lancet, and the British Medical Journal (BMJ) have signed the letter.