Scotland’s city streets failing European air quality standards
AIR pollution levels have dropped across Scotland but numerous city streets are still failing European air quality standards, new figures showed yesterday.
Latest statistics from the Scottish Government revealed that since 1990 emissions of harmful substances have reduced by as much as 98 per cent, which was the amount by which lead pollution fell.
Reasons for falling levels of nitrogen oxides, particulates and carbon monoxide included the demise of heavy industry such as the Ravenscraig steel works, and the recession, which resulted in people driving less to save money.
But traffic fumes remain the key cause of polluted air in cities like Glasgow which exceeds European limits.
Environmentalists and politicians warned that air pollution is the deadliest environmental hazard in the country and accused ministers of being deliberately slow to act.
Dr Richard Dixon, of WWF Scotland, said: “These figures look reassuring but the reality is that many streets in Scotland’s cities are breaking air pollution standards every year. National and local government have mostly been pitifully slow to get to grips with this problem and air quality is now the environmental problem causing more deaths and illness than anything else in Scotland. The government has even asked Europe for even more time to meet the current standards. We need tough action on transport to clean up the air in our streets.”
Green Edinburgh MSP Alison Johnstone added: “Air quality in our cities remains a huge health problem but there’s a culture of delay and inaction by decision-makers that needs to end. Reducing car traffic on city streets is at the heart of the solution but we’ll only achieve that by providing attractive routes for cycling and walking.”
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Monday 20 May 2013
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