Government warns road pollution is a major factor in shortening life expectancy in the UK
Air pollution costs the British population six months of their lives, according the Government. Power stations and vehicles are the worst offenders, leading to 50,000 deaths per year, and at the moment targets for cutting traffic pollution aren't being met. MP Joan Walley, chair of the Environmental Audit Committee said, 'Using dust suppressant sprays to damp down pollution on London's roads [is] only a temporarily fix.' We need to stop vehicles producing the traffic pollutant (known as PM10) in the first place and clean up our transport systems, as it worsens both asthma, lung disease and heart disease, too.
ZEST SAYS: When you live in a city it isn't always easy to steer clear of traffic. But there are easy changes you can make to your lifestyle to cut your risk- while still enjoy the benefits of getting active outside. Here are our top tips to lower the amounts of pollutants you breathe in:
1. Firstly before you head out cycling or walking, you can check your local air quality at www.airquality.co.uk: level 6 or above isn't good news, so if you can, delay your trip. 2. If you're driving, you can help reduce pollution yourself by cutting down on short journeys (2.5km or less) and driving more smoothly when you are driving. .3. Invest in a face mask if you're cycling in urban areas; they don't cut out everything but they are a good first defence. Also try to get to the front of the traffic at the lights or in queues to avoid close proximity to exhaust fumes. 4. Take some vitamins. Vitamin C-rich foods, such as red peppers, produce a liver enzyme that can help prevent free-radicals from getting into your lungs. 5. Head to the hills. There are lower levels of road pollutants in hill-top towns, so this can also help to lower your risk.
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