Air pollution in Bristol is causing the premature deaths of five people every week.
That’s the alarming finding reached in a new study from King’s College London, which examined how particulate matter and nitrogen dioxide contribute to health conditions such as asthma, heart disease, cancer and strokes.
They calculated these airborne substances cause approximately 260 people to die annually, a figure they extrapolate could rise to 36,000 deaths across the UK each year.
The results of the study offer a gloomy look into the future – they suggest a child born in 2011 could die up to six months early if exposed to urban air pollution throughout their lifetime.
The poor air quality also results in damage to the economy, costing up to £170 million each year in terms of health spending.
Dr David Dajnak, Principal Air Quality Scientist in the Environmental Research Group at King’s College London said: “This report shows that more needs to be done to address the level of threat air pollution poses to health in Bristol and highlights that the highest level of air pollution in Bristol coincides with zones of exceptional population growth and areas having the highest black and minority ethnic population.”