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Pollution data: poor air quality kills 1 in 20 in Birmingham

Almost 6% of deaths in Birmingham every year – 1 in 20 – are attributable to air pollution.

The latest figures available demonstrate that the city is the third worst local authority in West Midlands for deaths among adults by human-made particles smaller than 2.5 microns, called particulate matter (PM2.5).

Sandwell, Walsall and Birmingham registered an high number of deaths by particulates if compared to other West Midlands' authority

Sandwell, Walsall and Birmingham registered an high number of deaths by particulates if compared to other West Midlands’ authority.
Click on the picture to view the interactive map.

The leading city of the list is Sandwell, where 6.2% of deaths in 2011 were linked to air pollution, followed by Walsall (6%). Coventry and Solihull perform slightly better than Birmingham, as pollution here causes respectively 5,8% and 5,6% of the total dead.

However, West Midlands’ local authorities perform better than London boroughs, as many of these occupy the top ranks of the national league. City of London tops it as in 9% of cases adults died due to particulates, right above Kensington (8,9%) and Westminster (8,30%).

Nationally Birmingham is ranked 59th.

The data are collected by Public Health England and referred to 2011 deaths among 30-year-older. West Bromwich and Smethwick are not included.

As the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairsparticles penetrate deeply into the human respiratory system due to their small diameter. Exposure to this particle can lead to increases in hospital admissions, premature death of the old and sick and lung cancer. Road traffic emissions represents a significant contribution to the increase of particulates level in the urban environment.

Councillor James McKay, Labour cabinet member for a Green, Safe and Smart City, said:

“Cities are particularly affected by air pollution, most notably from the transport sector. Although urban density fosters a dynamic economy and enables resource efficiency, we need to be proactive in controlling downsides like air pollution.

“Cities continue to take local action to improve air quality. But unfortunately the causes of air pollution are often outside cities’ control. Many emitters are regulated by European legislation and standards.”

Get the data. These include further figures about local public health.

What can you do with them?

Are you worried about the poor air quality in Birmingham?



2 thoughts on “Pollution data: poor air quality kills 1 in 20 in Birmingham

  1. Wow! This blogg looks just like my old one! It’s on a entirely different subject but
    it has pretty much the same layout and design. Outstanding choice
    of colors!

    Posted by hack | January 24, 2014, 10:39 pm
  2. I never knew air pollution killed so many people! 1 in 20!? That is absolutely outrageous — I believe more needs to be done about air pollution. I’m curious to know how they actually link these deaths to pollution. I am fortunate enough to live outside of the city, so the pollution in my local area is minimal. I’m able to leave my windows open all day while not having to worry about pollution. However, when the windows are closed, I used purifiers and ionizers, and I think more people need to be aware of air quality and pollution issues. Thank you for sharing this interesting article.

    Posted by Jacob | January 29, 2014, 4:43 am

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