Does air pollution kill 40,000 people each year in the UK?
David Spiegelhalter
1034

Pleased to see some evidence based analysis on this area, in contrast to the excessive ‘evidence blind’ sensationalist press.

It seems clear there are serious questions over the reliability of the conclusions taken from the cited studies. Further the tendency to treat “pollution” as a single cause, rather than separate the treatment of NO2 and particulates, will likely contribute to poor policy outcomes.

It seems there is a risk that those who wish to demonstrate adverse health impact have selected studies that meet this aim, whether or not reliably. If current UK levels of NO2 and particulates really pose a serious health threat, those with high day-to-day exposures to particulates and NO2 i.e taxi drivers, kitchen workers, people who live in Putney, people with open fires etc, would surely be seeing significant adverse health impacts. Where are those studies? The only occupational study I am aware of demonstrated kitchen workers exposed daily to 20x the eu limits over 10 years had no significant adverse health impacts. Could it be that the levels of NO2 and particulates we see in London are actually pretty harmless, and this is all a statistical ‘storm in a teacup’ …?

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