Pollution kills 13,000 Britons a year

Emissions from cars, planes and power plants cause thousands of premature deaths each year

Pollution is causing more premature deaths a year than car accidents according to new research from Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Car exhausts and emissions from planes and power plants are causing 13,000 premature deaths each year in the UK.

The study, published in the journal Environmental Science and Technology, found car and truck exhaust fumes were the single greatest contributor to premature death affecting 3,300 people a year.

‘We wanted to know if the responsibility to maintain air quality was matched by an ability to act or do something about it,’ says co-author Steven Barrett from MIT.

UK emissions that migrate outside the country cause 3,100 premature deaths each year in other European Union nations.

After road transport, the researchers found emissions from shipping and aviation were the second greatest contributor to premature deaths, followed by power plant emissions.

‘People have a number of risk factors in their life,’ says Barrett. ‘Air pollution is another risk factor and it can be significant, especially for people who live in cities.’

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