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"Air pollution is the invisible killer" says Green Party's Jean Robertson-Molloy

"Air pollution in London is responsible for 4,000 premature deaths every year" says GP candidate Jean Robertson-Molloy "and it's getting worse". Air pollution is the great unrecognised killer and causes more premature deaths than alcoholism or obesity. Only smoking is more deadly (See Clean Air in London, 2012).

Jean Robertson-Molloy pointed out that air pollution-related deaths increased in 15 of London's boroughs between 2008-11 and that 45% of London's roads will have illegal levels of pollution by 2020. The UK is facing EU fines as a result.

Even in Winchmore Hill the 17,000 vehicles per day that use Green Lanes create a real health hazard. They emit about 3 tons per year of poisonous N02. Even at low levels, oxides of nitrogen can irritate eyes, nose, throat and lungs, sometimes leading to coughing, shortness of breath, tiredness and nausea. Some groups - children, the elderly, asthma sufferers, those living near busy roads and the poor - are particularly vulnerable. In 2010 Dr Brian Miller of the Institute of Occupational Medicine (IOM) estimated that air pollution causes the premature deaths of 8 Winchmore Hill residents each year.

"As Greens", said Robertson-Molloy, "we have long-standing commitments to clean air and water. We campaigned against lead in petrol and that success has been well rewarded. Yet these data show that the job remains unfinished. Our defence of the environment is a vital public health measure, not a middle-class indulgence".

Greens in the European Parliament and on your local council will fight for:
  • A Pedestrian and Cycle Friendly City. Greens will push for the expansion of 20 mph zones to all roads where people live, work or go to school. Jean Robertson-Molloy was the lead petitioner in the campaign for 20 mph in Hoppers Rd and surrounding streets, part of which has now been implemented by the Council.
  • An End to Coal Burning. This is the single most important measure for both air quality and climate change with huge benefits globally. (Flint, 2013)
  • Legal Protection for Londoners' Health. Greens will put pressure on the EU not to give in to the demands of polluting companies and lazy officials to water down legal protection.
  • A Charge on the Most Polluting Vehicles. Greens will expand the Low Emission Zone and tighten the rules.
Greens in Europe, City Hall and London boroughs have already
acted on these issues. The Hoppers Road speed limit, introduced after Green campaigning in Winchmore Hill, is a small step in the right direction. Green councillors would do much more.

References:
Boris is covering up the scale of air pollution
Clean Air in London, 2012: Guide to health impacts
Flint, David, 2013: How 'saving the planet' will improve our health. In: The Greening of Health and Wellbeing, Green Economics Inst.
Dr Brian Miller, 2010: Report on estimation of mortality impacts of particulate air pollution in London. IOM.

Here's GP policy


Published and promoted by Bill Linton for Enfield Green Party, both at 39A Fox Lane, London N13 4AJ