Rochdale MP, Tony Lloyd, is calling on the government to take decisive action to reduce levels of toxic air pollution whilst making lung health a priority in public health and NHS plans.
There are an estimated 3.4million people with lung conditions who could find their symptoms are being triggered by toxic air. This puts them at risk of life-threatening asthma attacks and flare ups.
Tony said, “Given that a higher than average number of people are diagnosed with asthma in Rochdale compared to the rest of England, this should worry us all.
“The average level of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) in the Rochdale Borough is 25.6µg/m3. That is an astonishing figure given that the World Health Organisation recommends that no country should have levels of NO2 above 10µg/m3 to protect public health.
“There are things the government could be doing to tackle this, such as making lung health a priority in public health plans and in the NHS.
“They could also improve public transport and cycling provision to encourage less car use, and look at introducing smart traffic reduction measures that will take the most polluting vehicles off the road.”
Lung conditions affect one in five people in the UK, yet respiratory research receives just 1.8% of the £2.56 billion invested in health research. The UK has the worst death rate for lung conditions in Western Europe and is second only to Turkey when looking at the of Europe.
Notes for editors:-
Recent research carried out by Asthma + Lung UK has shown that, in Rochdale:-
• Around 7.4% of people are diagnosed with asthma, compared to an England average of 6.4%
• Only 26.9% of people with asthma in the North West reported receiving basic asthma care, compared to an England average of 30%.
• Around 2.5% of people in Rochdale Borough are diagnosed with Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) compared to an England average of 1.9%. The true number is likely to be much higher, as over half of those with COPD are estimated to be undiagnosed.
• 71.2% of people with COPD in the Borough reported facing barriers to getting a diagnosis, compared to an England average of 71.1%.
• Only 25.5% of people with COPD in the North West reported receiving the fundamentals of COPD care, compared to an England average of 25.9%.
• Around 1,351 people died from pneumonia in Rochdale Borough over the past three years.
• 15.7% of households are estimated to be in fuel poverty in the Borough, compared to an England average of 13.4%.