Europe's most deprived areas 'hit hardest by air pollution'

(The Guardian, 4 Feb 2019) Exposure to particulate matter and ozone highest in poor eastern European states, says study.

Europe’s poorest, least educated and most jobless regions are bearing the brunt of the air pollution crisis, according to the first official stocktake of its kind.

Nearly half of London’s most deprived neighbourhoods exceeded EU nitrogen dioxide (NO2) limits in 2017 compared with 2% of its wealthiest areas.

Heart-attack survivors exposed to long-term air pollution in the Greater London area were more likely to be readmitted to hospital, where they also had higher mortality rates.

Similar findings were reported in France, Germany, Malta, the Netherlands, Wales and Wallonia, according to data-mining analysis from the European Environment Agency (EEA).

Shirley Rodrigues, the deputy mayor of London, said the government had “a moral obligation” to act on the city’s 9,000 pollution-related early deaths and the £4bn annual cost to the NHS.

She said: “There is a vast inequality in London between the richest and poorest areas. The richest areas own the most cars but people in the most deprived areas have the worst air quality – and the lowest car ownership figures. There is a moral obligation on the mayor – and on all of us – to act.”

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The Guardian, 4 Feb 2019: Europe's most deprived areas 'hit hardest by air pollution'