Jeremy Hunt MP pledged his support for action to be taken at all levels to improve air quality.
New research released in the lead up to Clean Air Day highlighted the damaging impact that air pollution has on the public’s health and the pressing need for action.
Hunt is also encouraging his constituents in South West Surrey to cycle or walk when they can. This will limit their pollution contribution but also protect their heart health, as air pollution levels can be significantly higher inside a car.
Air pollution is now the largest environmental risk factor linked to deaths in England, with the majority of air-pollution related deaths worldwide (58%) caused by heart disease or stroke. The British Heart Foundation’s (BHF) research has shed light on how health-harmful pollutants such as particulate matter - small particles found in emissions from diesel engines and wood burning stoves- can cause damage to people’s cardiovascular health and increase the risk of potentially deadly heart attacks and stroke.
Jeremy Hunt MP attended a photo-call organised by the BHF in Parliament ahead of Clean Air Day to express his support for action that will ensure that the health of people living in South West Surrey isn’t at risk from the air they breathe.
The BHF is calling for action to make the UK’s air safe for all to breathe. The charity believes it is vital that efforts to improve air quality have the protection of health as their focus. They want to ensure that action to reduce air pollution achieves meaningful health outcomes, particularly for vulnerable groups whose lives are impacted by outdoor air pollution.
Jeremy Hunt, MP for South West Surrey, said:
“It’s important that we have better air quality so 12,400 of my constituents living with a heart and circulatory condition don’t need to worry about dirty air damaging their health when they leave the house. Research has shown that even the smallest reduction can make a big difference in preventing new cases of coronary heart disease.
“I’m supporting the call for all effective action to be taken to clean up our air so that it’s safe for all to breathe.”
Simon Gillespie, Chief Executive of the British Heart Foundation, said:
“It’s great to have the support of Jeremy Hunt with encouraging action to promote and protect the nation’s heart health from the effects of air pollution.
“We know that to have good heart and circulatory health, people need to be active. But BHF-funded research suggests that poor air quality can cancel out the cardiovascular benefits of exercise in vulnerable people. Further BHF-funded research has also shown that particulate matter increases the risk of potentially fatal complications for people with a heart or circulatory condition.
“To reduce this risk, we need to ensure that action to tackle pollution will reduce the most health harmful pollutants, like particulate matter, to a safe level.”