HC Deb 10 June 2004 vol 422 cc536-7W
Mrs. Helen Clark

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many adult deaths as a result of air pollution there were in the last year for which figures are available. [174851]

Miss Melanie Johnson

Air pollution is associated with an increased risk of death from respiratory and cardiovascular disease but only estimates of numbers of deaths can be made, based on the findings of epidemiological studies. The committee on the medical effects of air pollutants published a report: quantification of the effects of air pollution on health in the United Kingdom (QUARK) in 1998. The report estimated that 8,100 deaths were brought forward as a result of exposure to particles: the equivalent figures for sulphur dioxide and ozone being 3,500 arid 700 or 12,500, depending on the assumption of threshold for the effects of ozone respectively. Particle concentrations have fallen since 1998 though urban concentrations of ozone are rising albeit slowly. A revision of the QUARK report will be published in 2006.