Some wood burning stoves will be banned and restrictions on ammonia from fertilisers could be introduced under proposals introduced by the government to address air pollution.
MThe UK will set an ambitious, long-term target to reduce people’s exposure to particulate matter (PM), which the World Health Organization (WHO) has identified as the most damaging pollutant.
Air pollution is one of the biggest threats to public health in the UK – behind only cancer, obesity and heart disease – and the measures set out in the Clean Air Strategy will cut the costs of air pollution to society by £1.7 billion every year by 2020, rising to £5.3 billion every year from 2030.
Following a recent increase in popularity, domestic burning on stoves and open fires is now the single biggest source of particulate matter emissions .
Health Secretary Matt Hancock said:
Air pollution is a health issue: it harms the health of the nation. For each of us, our health is unavoidably shaped by the environment we live in. Environmental factors determine around 30% of our healthy life expectancy. Air pollution poses the single greatest environmental threat to human health.
Breathing dirty air is associated with a host of health problems, from asthma to cardiovascular disease and lung cancer, and all too often it is the most vulnerable – children, older people and those from poorer backgrounds – who are hit hardest. In short: clean air helps you live longer.
No-one can tackle air pollution alone so it is a duty of government to act for us all. We are determined to clean up our environment and are taking the lead with this Clean Air Strategy. We have made strides forward over the past few years and the action we are taking today will save lives and improve the health of the nation – both for those of us here today and for generations to come.