Poor air quality causes deaths in London as well

Dear Editor,

I read with much interest your editorial ‘Smoke Alarms’ on air pollution in China of the 19th of January.

You are right to say air pollution has a human and economic cost in Chinese cities, but let’s not forget it is still an issue in London today. Every year nearly 4,300 premature deaths result from the poor air quality London. That is almost 20 times the number of road fatalities. In fact, in the central London boroughs of Westminster, Camden and Kensington & Chelsea the problem is so bad that 8.3 per cent of all deaths can be attributed to air pollution. It is a silent killer.

London’s problem is not getting better either. Nitrogen dioxide levels in several areas across the capital are already many times above Government annual limits for 2013. So while the problem in London is not as acute as in Chinese cities, it is a serious policy concern that the Mayor has utterly failed to get a grip of.

Murad Qureshi AM

The letter was published in the FT Weekend of the 26th of January 2013.