Nearly everyone in the UK lives in areas with toxic air, shocking new data shows

New data shows that almost everyone in Europe lives in areas with toxic air pollution

A placard with text reading "There is no planet B"

New data has shown the scale of air pollution across Europe. The Guardian has released a staggering analysis of air pollution across the continent, finding that 98 per cent of people in Europe live in areas with particulate pollution that exceed World Health Organisation (WHO) guidelines.

While Eastern Europe and northern Italy are the areas with the most polluted air, the data for the UK is also deeply worrying. According to the Guardian’s analysis, three quarters of the UK population live in areas where exposure to fine particulate pollution is between one and two times the WHO guidance, with almost a quarter over it.

Experts estimate that 400,000 deaths each year are caused across Europe by fine particulate pollution.

According to the Guardian, traffic, industry, domestic heating and agriculture are the main sources of the pollution.

The news has led to MPs criticising the Westminster government’s environmental policies.

Liberal Democrat MP Wera Hobhouse said: “While 98% of Europeans breathe polluted air linked to 400,000 deaths annually, the PM is derailing climate targets. Climate change is not a political football – it is a matter of life and death. It is high time that the Conservatives woke up to that fact.”

Chris Jarvis is head of strategy and development at Left Foot Forward

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