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Theresa May: toxic air pollution is fourth biggest health risk behind cancer, obesity and heart disease

Wednesday 12 April 2017

Evening Standard

The Prime Minister has responded to a letter organised by QMUL’s Professor Jonathan Grigg, and signed by more than 220 doctors, which warned that time is “running out” to tackle the nation’s toxic air scandal. Replying to Professor Grigg, the Prime Minister said: “I agree with you that one of the main reasons our cities continue to face pollution problems is the significant levels of nitrogen oxide emissions that diesel vehicles produce. Harmful emissions from transport contribute significantly to the air quality challenge we face.” Mrs May has signalled that she will strengthen anti-pollution measures but does not want to unfairly penalise motorists. Professor Grigg said: “Until we see a national commitment to remove the current fleet of high polluting diesel vehicles from towns and cities it will be very difficult for local authorities to effectively tackle the source of the problem.”

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