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Britain's dirty air is still a public health emergency despite the amount of deaths caused by air pollution halving since 1970, a long-term study has shown.
Researchers warn that breathing in small particles of soot still poses a substantial burden to public health.
Toxic - Air - Number - Health - Hazard
Toxic air remains the number one environmental health hazard, researchers claim, with one in 20 deaths still attributed to particle pollution alone.
The public's exposure to major air pollutants declined significantly between 1970 and 2010, resulting in a decrease in health impacts, the study found.
Deaths - Heart - Lung - Diseases - Cent
Premature deaths linked to heart and lung diseases have more than halved from 12 per cent in 1970 to five per cent in 2010.
Deaths attributed to nitrogen dioxide, a toxic gas emitted by diesel cars, fell from five per cent to three per cent.
Researchers - Action - Health - Emergency - Harm
But despite this, researchers say that urgent action is still needed to deal with the public health emergency that causes harm on a par with alcohol.
'The message is air quality policies work,' said Sotiris Vardoulakis, one of the study authors and a researcher at the Institute of Occupational Medicine in Edinburgh.
Cent - Deaths - PM2 - Alone - Burden
But five per cent of deaths from PM2.5 alone is still a 'very substantial burden on public health and we need to do something about it', he said.
PM2.5 refers refers to atmospheric particulate matter (PM) that have a diameter of less than 2.5...
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