Clean air charity Mums for Lungs is urging the public to push for stricter air pollution targets in an ongoing government consultation.
The charity says current proposals for environmental targets are too weak for dealing with air pollution effectively, and will “cost the health of thousands or even millions of people” in England.
The proposed target is to reduce pollution to 10mg of particulate matter (PM2.5) per cubic metre by 2040.
Mums for Lungs has created a tool to make it easy for people to respond to the consultation with requests for stricter targets ahead of the May 11 deadline.
PM2.5 is one of the most toxic pollutants in air, and comes from a number of sources, including cards and woodburning. The particulate matter can enter human organs and cause serious long-term damage to health.
Almost every part of the UK is affected by air pollution, with analysis showing one in four UK homes are surrounded by levels that exceed limits set by the World Health Organisation (WHO). Around 40,000 early deaths per year are linked to air pollution.