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Air pollution is now a ‘health emergency’, head of NHS England warns

The Independent are reporting the head of NHS England, Sir Simon Stevens, warning of a “health emergency” as new figures revealed hundreds more children and adults are suffering cardiac arrests, strokes or severe asthma attacks because of days of high air pollution.

Higher air pollution triggered each year an extra 124 cardiac arrests in people not already in hospital, 231 cases of stroke and 193 children and adults being admitted to hospital for asthma, the study found. 

The figures, from King’s College London and UK100, a group of 94 local government leaders, highlighted the “immediate, short-term and avoidable” impact of high air pollution, the experts said.

Government data has previously shown that pollution contributes to up to 36,000 deaths every year.

The research, which will be published in full in November and is being released ahead of the International Clean Air Summit, hosted by the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan and UK100.