Government’s plans to reduce one of the most harmful types of air pollution do not go far enough or fast enough, according to the chief executive of a green technology company which has developed technology to help tackle the problem.
George Eustice, the environment secretary, has proposed that the limit on fine particulate matter in England should be cut by 2040 from an annual average of 20 micrograms per cubic metre of air to a new limit of 10.
Due to their size, fine particulate matter, or PM2.5, may enter the bloodstream and be transported around the body, reaching the lungs, heart, brain and other organs. Exposure can result in serious health impacts, especially in vulnerable groups of people such as the young, elderly, and those with respiratory problems.
The new Government target has been criticised as “incredibly weak” by Rosamund Adoo-Kissi-Debrah, the mother of Ella, the first person in the UK to have pollution listed as a cause of death.
Now, Ben Richardson, Chief Executive of greentech company SulNOx Plc, said he believed the Government should be doing more – and doing it more quickly.
“The technology already exists to significantly reduce air pollution which costs the UK economy over £20 billion every year,” said Ben.
“It is pleasing that the Government is addressing air quality, but these measures do not go far enough. The limit of 10 micrograms per cubic metre of air was recommended by the World Health Organization back in 2005, and that was reduced to 5 last year after evidence that particles harm human health at much lower concentrations than previously thought.”