Each year, thousands of Londoners die prematurely as a result of air pollution across the capital, and millions more face health threats every day. The city has breached legal limits for air quality every year since implementing them in 2010, and all of London’s boroughs fail both annual targets and World Health Organisation standards.
Although children and poorer communities are often the most vulnerable to the dangers of pollution, it impacts the entire city, costing the London economy an estimated £3.7 billion every year. People vulnerable to adverse health outcomes from exposure to air pollution include children, the elderly, minority and low-income communities, and those with diabetes, heart disease or respiratory problems. These groups may suffer an increased risk of developing cardiovascular disease, cancer, asthma and other respiratory diseases; or of worsening conditions that are already present.
What we typically think of as air pollution is actually a mixture of small particles such as black carbon, gases like nitrogen oxides, ozone, and sulphur dioxide.