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Poor air quality causing a “health emergency”

Simon Stevens, Chief Executive of NHS England, states that the current air quality is a “health emergency.”

A recent study has found that poor air quality can be linked to a variety of health issues including strokes, cardiac arrest and asthma.

The study, conducted by King’s College London, states that compared to days with low air pollution levels, those that contain spikes can trigger hundreds of heart attacks, strokes and acute asthma attacks in English cities.

The study, which looked at 9 cities in England, including London, Bristol, Manchester and Birmingham, also found that air pollution can cause short-term health risks as well as contributing to 36,000 deaths a year.

On days with high pollution levels (those which are in the top half of the annual range), there were on average an extra 124 cardiac arrests. This data, based on ambulance call data, discounts any patients who suffer from a cardiac arrest in hospital.

There were also an additional 231 hospital admissions for strokes and an extra 193 children and adult hospitalised for asthma.

The risk was found to be higher in London where high air pollution can cause an extra 87 cardiac arrests, 144 strokes, as well as the hospitalisation of 74 children and 33 adults for asthma.

Birmingham saw the second highest rise with 12 more cardiac arrests, 27 more strokes, and 15 extra children and 11 extra adults hospitalised with asthma.

Simon Stevens believes that there needs to be action taken now as “avoidable deaths are happening now – not in 2025 or 2050.”

How Pinacl can help

To combat these health issues, local authorities need to take action to monitor air quality levels and make changes.

Pinacl’s air quality sensors can measure and monitor the level of air pollutants such as PM2.5, PM10, CO, NO₂ and O₃ as well as temperature, pressure and humidity. The data that is gathered can be seen in real-time along with historical trend data on an online portal.

Gathering this data can provide local authorities with the information they need to take informed decisions on how to lower these levels.

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