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Air pollution 'takes up to eight months off life'

Air pollution is estimated to reduce life expectancy in the UK by an average seven to eight months, according to the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (CIEH).

Today, the first World Environmental Health Day held by the institute will target the Northern Ireland Executive and the public in a bid to reduce pollution problems here.

Emissions from road traffic will be a particular issue focused on, with children living near busy roads showing an increased risk of respiratory illnesses including asthma, according to a study conducted by the Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution.

Speaking about the awareness day Gary McFarlane, director of CIEH Northern Ireland, said: “We want to highlight the negative impact poor air quality can have on our societies wellbeing, particularly in the cases of children and people with respiratory ill-health.”

Mr McFarlane said the Executive needed to show real leadership and introduce programmes that will help ease the problem of pollutin.

He continued: “We also need to consider new and innovative ways of reducing the need to travel in the first place, including radically improving the potential for home-working through the use of modern technology.”

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