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ERG gives evidence at Parliamentary inquiry on air pollution

3 July, 2014

Dr Ian Mudway, who presented recent findings from the EXHALE study at the Frontiers conference, appeared this month as an expert witness to give evidence to the Environmental Audit Committee (EAC). The committee is holding a review into progress on air quality in the UK since its 2010 and 2011 reports into the subject.

The EAC launched this latest enquiry in the wake of the early April smog episode, Public Health England's recent particulate air pollution mortality effects publication and the European Commission's decision to launch legal proceedings against the UK for failing to meet air quality limits.

Dr Mudway updated the panel on the latest health evidence, in particular the recent World Health Organisation (WHO) REVIHAAP review, which suggests health effects to concentrations of nitrogen dioxide occur below the current limit values. Ian also gave evidence on recent research which shows associations between particle exposure and cognitive function and King's research into the effect of urban pollution on children's health.

You can watch the entire session here.

Written evidence

As part of the enquiry, King's submitted written evidence which is available to view on the Committee's website. In it's evidence, King's made the case for:

  • A shift away from diesel to petrol vehicles.
  • More stringent low emission zones that treat petrol and diesel differently.
  • The optimisation of NO2 abatement for buses.
  • Not delaying the proposed 2017 deadline for 'real-world' emissions tests for Euro 6 vehicles.

The submission also made the case for strengthening local air quality management by making highways authorities and the Highways Agency (HA) responsible for the management of the emissions and impacts from their infrastructure. King’s also highlighted that the current focus on tailpipe emissions abatement technology is too narrow and measures that reduce travel need or modal shift towards public transport provide public health benefits from an increase in active travel modes.

King's also suggest that the current level of ambition on particulate pollution is too low and that more stringent WHO limits should be adopted.

Written evidence from all parties is available to view on the Environmental Audit Committee's website

You can read our evidence in full here.