Wednesday, April 18, 2012
Exhaust fumes are twice as deadly as roads, study claims (UK)
More than 5,000 people die prematurely from conditions like lung cancer and heart disease because of emissions, according to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Exhaust from aeroplanes cause a further 2,000 deaths annually while emissions from the energy and industrial sectors and pollution originating from Europe bring the overall total up to 19,000 deaths per year in Britain. In contrast official figures state that 1,850 people were killed as a result of road accidents in 2010. Prof Steven Barrett, who led the study, said: "It does appear to be the case that air pollution from road traffic causes more deaths per year than the number who die on the roads. "But those who die from air pollution tend to die about 10 years earlier than they would otherwise, whereas people who die in road traffic accidents might be on average middle aged, so it is likely that road traffic accidents cause more loss of life years overall than air pollution."