Air pollution - Why care? (United Kingdom)

SOER 2010 Common environmental theme (Deprecated) expired
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This content has been archived on 21 Mar 2015, reason: A new version has been published
SOER Common environmental theme from United Kingdom
Published: 26 Nov 2010 Modified: 21 Mar 2015

The quality of air in the United Kingdom is currently better than at any point since before the industrial revolution. However, atmospheric pollution is currently estimated to reduce the life expectancy of every person in the UK by an average of 6 months with estimated equivalent health costs of up to £19 billion a year. This is in addition to wider environmental damage including change in species composition, change in ecosystem function and decreased agricultural yields.

We need to undertake further research into how air pollution impacts health and the environment to inform future policy decisions. In the long term, understanding the interplay between air pollution and climate change could provide large mutual benefits.

Details of UK policy can be found in the UK Air Quality Strategy, and the UK Air Quality Archive.


The country assessments are the sole responsibility of the EEA member and cooperating countries supported by the EEA through guidance, translation and editing.

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