A new report has shown that air outside general practitioners and outside hospitals has high levels of pollution. This can…
A new report has shown that air outside general practitioners and outside hospitals has high levels of pollution. This can complicate lung problems in patients with asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), “the report says.
The report looks at the air quality of 2 200 GP operations and 248 hospitals and has shown that the air particles are called particles or PM2.5, around them exceeding recommended levels from the World Health Organization (WHO). When patients with pre-existing lung conditions visit these sites, they are at great risk in the report.
The small particles of air pollution can pass through the nose in the lungs and bloodstream of patients visiting these offices and hospitals. These can lead to asthma evaluations, too, says the report. The study was supported by the British Lung Foundation and was conducted by Cambridge Environmental Research Consultants.
The researchers have said that this level of air pollution is “unacceptable”. Alison Cook, chief of policy at Cambridge Environmental Research Consultants in a statement said: “It may not be right for hospital staff and practitioners to take care of people in environments that can aggravate their symptoms and could risk them for a whole range of health problems . “
In this study, a total of about 1
0,000 NHS health centers and areas around them were investigated. It was noted that one third of GP methods and one quarter of hospitals are located in regions where air pollution is outside recommended safe levels. Not surprisingly, pollution levels are greatest in large and moderately large cities like London and Birmingham, as well as Cardiff, Leeds, Leicester, Nottingham and Southampton. Great Ormond Street Hospital in London and Birmingham Children
The hospital was particularly vulnerable to pollution, the report says. Small towns also were not free from pollutants, says the report, citing examples of Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria, Cornwall, Ipswich, Westcliff-on-Sea, Gillingham, Worthing, Kettering, Basingstoke, Colchester, Hull and Chelmsford. Wales came up with 54 GP operations located in air polluted areas while Scotland had three in Aberdeen, Falkirk and Berwickshire found in polluted areas.
Dr. Maria Neira, from WHO, said these hospitals and GP operations were “Heart and Lungs” in the healthcare system and no one who visited these sites should be at risk of air pollution. The British Lung Foundation has also added that at least 12 million people are exposed to air pollution and its harmful effects. Improving air quality can reduce the aggravation of thousands of cases of asthma, COPD, heart disease, stroke and lung cancer, says BLF.
Air pollution is responsible for about 40,000 prematrue deaths in the UK annually says the statistics. According to a statement from a spokesman from Defra, the government would stick to its Clean Air strategy and said that “the forthcoming environmental law will contain provisions to improve air quality.”
UK currently fulfills its own maximum legally recommended pollutant PM2.5 levels, but it is twice as high as the WHO recommendation. This report comes shortly before the next WHO Global Pollution Conference.