LOCAL MP WARNS OF INVISIBLE KILLER
Local Mansfield MP Sir Alan Meale has raised the question of the dangers connected with air pollution caused by diesel fumes in the community.
Speaking in the House of Commons last week, he warned that the dangers connected with diesel pollution are profound as they are killers with currently over 40,000 premature deaths occurring each year in the UK, many attributed to diesel particulates.
Mr Meale commented: “In real terms, the Mansfield area has a share of these deaths, which runs into thousands. On top of this diesel particulates are absorbed in other harmful ways such as with pregnant women who can take it in which then causes low birth weights, organ damage, premature birth and still birth. In adults it can cause lung cancer, bronchitis and asthma, as well as strokes, heart attacks and heart disease.
“Poor air quality is also linked to diabetes, obesity and dementia. At the moment the estimates are that it causes the loss of some 6 million working days per year at a cost of approximately £20 billion to our economy. Look at the facts for our local economy – hundreds die of the effects and 8 - 10,000 working days per year at a cost of £2 ½ million.
“The Government needs to act now to protect our citizens. Greener public transport initiatives need to be made. Emission testing needs to be increased, restrictions on heavily polluting diesel vehicles need to be introduced and money invested in pedestrian schemes and encouragement, especially amongst school children, the full use of cycling in our community.”
Alan Meale MP