Towns and cities across Britain and Ireland have been named and shamed by the World Health Organisation (WHO) for breaching safety levels for air pollution.
And while Glasgow is known for its deep fried mars bars and the intense rivalry between its football teams, it’s also now known as one of the most polluted cities in the UK and Ireland, a new report has revealed.
WHO has warned poor air quality is a major cause of disease and death, and although Glasgow is the worst, their latest data shows that 11 urban areas across the UK and Ireland have breached the safe limit of what they call PM10 (a way to measure pollution).
These include Port Talbot, Stanford-Le-Hope, Glasgow, London, Scunthorpe, Leeds, Eastbourne, Nottingham, Southampton and Oxford, and the town of Longford in Ireland.
And more than 40 towns and cities across Britain and Ireland have also breached the safe levels for another measure known as PM2.5, with Glasgow, Scunthorpe, Leeds, Eastbourne, Salford, and London topping the list.
According to WHO,80% of cities around the world are failing to meet their guidance for safe levels of air quality.
And as air quality declines, the risk of stroke, heart disease, lung cancer, and asthma increases for the people who live in these areas, the health body said.
Overall, more than 7 million premature deaths occur every year due to air pollution, 3 million of them due to particulate matter in outdoor air.
Jenny Bates, Friends of the Earth air pollution campaigner, said air pollution caused 40,000 early deaths a year in the UK alone, the BBC reports.
This is a public health crisis. It’s time it was treated that way.
We need fewer and cleaner vehicles with a Clean Air Zone in every city and large town – and politicians must urgently introduce a diesel scrappage scheme to get the worst polluting vehicles off our roads, as well as more investment in alternatives to driving.
She added that figures for Europe appeared to have improved ‘slightly’ but added ‘we’re still talking about dangerous levels of pollution’.
So basically, if you live in Glasgow (or pretty much anywhere else in the UK or Ireland for that matter) it may be time you swapped your car for an electric one.