Diesel fumes 'behind city heart attacks'

EXCESSIVE diesel fumes in city centres could be causing unnecessary heart attacks, researchers at Edinburgh University have found.

In a study funded by the British Heart Foundation, it was discovered that a simple "exhaust trap" could limit the dangerous particles being pumped into the air.

Healthy volunteers were found to have badly functioning blood vessels after being exposed to fumes, with scientists saying a trap device would reduce these emissions by up to 98 per cent.

Research leader Dr Andrew Lucking said: "Exposure to road traffic and air pollution are known to increase the risk of a heart attack.

"The trap we used dramatically reduced the harmful effects. Our results suggest that if all diesel-powered vehicles had particle traps fitted, heart attacks could be avoided."