A pollution map unveiled by campaigners shows unsafe air quality in almost 2,000 places across England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Friends of the Earth (FoE) developed the interactive map using government figures and cited traffic emissions and a lack of government action for the pollution rates breaching EU legal limits for nitrogen dioxide.
Some of the worst air quality was found in Kensington, Leeds and Doncaster. For seven years, London’s air has been in breach of legal limits which should have been met in 2010.
Air pollution has been linked to serious health problems like heart disease and dementia, and is thought to increase the risk of miscarriage. Tens of thousands of people are impacted by poor air quality and related illnesses.
The organisation also noted that forty towns and cities across the country are breaking World Health Organisation (WHO) guideline limits for fine particle pollution – adding that pollution under legal limits does not necessarily mean the air is safe.
FoE clean air campaigner Simon Bowens called the air quality crisis “unforgivable” and leaves “millions of us breathing dangerously polluted air”.