New statistics reveal air pollution deaths in area

Public Health England is proposing a ban on cars idling near schools.
Public Health England is proposing a ban on cars idling near schools.

Air pollution causes four in every 100 deaths of people aged 30 and over in Kirklees, data reveals.

Public Health England (PHE) is proposing a ban on cars idling in areas like schools or hospitals, while councils call for more funding to tackle pollution and improve public transport.

The latest PHE figures show that 4.1 in every 100 deaths of people aged 30 and over in Kirklees in 2017 were linked to long-term exposure to air pollution.

The data only measures PM2.5 – small particles with a diameter of less than 2.5 micrometres, about 3% of the width of a human hair.

Long-term exposure to these particles can trigger chronic diseases such as asthma, heart disease or bronchitis, and cause other respiratory problems. The proportion of deaths caused by air pollution in Kirklees has decreased since 2010, when 5.4 in every 100 deaths were connected to a high presence of these particles in the air.

Martin Tett, transport spokesman for the Local Government Association, said air pollution is a public health emergency.

He said: “We need to be able to live in safe communities, which includes making sure the air we breathe is as free from pollution as possible.

“Councils also need local powers, particularly with regard to traffic offences, government support on planning and transport matters, and robust national action to help the country transition to low-emission vehicles and power generation.”