Around 40,000 deaths a year are linked to air pollution in the UK.
That’s according to a report from the Royal College of Physicians (RCP) and the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH).
It stated the harm from air pollution is a long term problem with lifelong implications.
It suggests political leaders to introduce tougher regulations including reliable emissions testing for cars to tackle the problem.
Last year Volkswagen admitted it used a software that deceived emissions testing for certain air pollutants.
Local authorities “must have the power” to close roads to reduce the volume of traffic and monitoring air pollution effectively, it added.
The report also recommends the use of innovative technologies such as electric vehicles (EVs) and energy efficiency products in homes.
Furthermore, it suggests the economic impact of air pollution should be defined as it damages “not only our physical health but also our economic wellbeing”.
Dr Andrew Goddard, the RCP lead for the report said: “Taking action to tackle air pollution in the UK will reduce the pain and suffering for many people with long term chronic health conditions, not to mention lessening the long term demands on our NHS. This is not just a job for government, local authorities or business – as individuals we can all do our part to reduce pollutant exposure.”
Five cities in the UK could have ‘Clean Air Zones’ by the end of the decade, according to the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs’ (Defra).