September 29th, 2016

Poor air quality sparks health fears

Poor air quality sparks health fears Poor air quality sparks health fears
Updated: 10:53 am, Jul 01, 2016

POLLUTION along the A435 in Studley is so bad the village is repeatedly failing air quality tests.

And with the Eastern Gateway industrial development almost certain to go ahead, the fear is the situation can only get worse.

The Warwickshire village, just two miles from the proposed new Gorcott Hill site for Redditch, fails to meet healthy standards for both Nitrogen Dioxide and PM10 diesel particulates.

Nitrogen Dioxide is a greenhouse gas linked to breathing illnesses with long term exposure known to affect lung function.

Diesel particulates are associated with both respiratory and cardiovascular problems with the Department for Transport linking it to 29,000 deaths a year in the UK.

Local county councillor Clive Rickhards told Studley parish council that the shock findings had come out at a Task and Finish group looking at air quality across Warwickshire.

“Ten years ago Studley was declared an Air quality Management Area and we need to make more progress in terms of action so that a timetable to reduce the level of pollution can be created,” he said.

“We need to genuinely influence planning decisions using the criteria of air quality.”

The make matters worse, as well as the Eastern Gateway development, towards which Stratford district council has already given nine hectares, a new industrial development is also underway at the Arden estate in Alcester.

“There is not enough prominence given to air quality in the planning process and we need to bring it to greater prominence,” said Coun Rickhards.

The report entitled ‘Every Breath We Take – the Lifelong impact of Air Pollution’ the Royal College of Physicians (RCP) said: “As the levels of air pollution increase, so does the harmful effect on lung function. Children living in highly polluted areas are four times more likely to have reduced lung function in adulthood.”

Professor Stephen Holgate of the RCP added: “We now know that air pollution has a substantial impact on many chronic long term conditions, increasing strokes and heart attacks in susceptible individuals. We know that air pollution adversely effects the development of the fetus, including lung development.

“And now there is compelling evidence that air pollution is associated with new onset asthma in children and adults. When our patients are exposed to such a clear and avoidable cause of death, illness and disability, it our duty to speak out.”

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