How air pollution affects your health – infographic
Exposure to air pollutants has been linked to suppressed lung growth, asthma, heart disease, foetal brain growth damage and the onset of diabetes
Paul Tinker and Tom Levitt
Tuesday 5 July 2016 05.00 BST
Air pollution from traffic and industry is leading to the premature death of more than three million people a year.
Globally, that’s more than malaria and HIV/Aids combined.
Pollutants including nitrogen dioxide and particulate matter from road traffic and sulphur dioxide, from the burning of fossil fuels, have been linked to suppressed lung growth in children, asthma, heart disease and the onset of type 2 diabetes. The exposure of pregnant women to air pollution has also been found to affect to foetal brain growth.
It is an avoidable and unequal health burden. In London, for example, more than 400 schools are located in areas that exceed limits for nitrogen dioxide pollution, but four-fifths of those are in deprived areas.