Asthma UK comment on Supreme Court hearing ClientEarth v UK Government on air pollution levels

Please find a comment below from Asthma UK regarding the the hearing at The Supreme Court between ClientEarth and the UK Government on air pollution levels in the UK (16/04/2015). A ruling will be announced in June. The ClientEarth press release can be found here which explains the case in more detail.

Kay Boycott, Chief Executive at Asthma UK says: "Today's Supreme Court hearing on Nitrogen Oxide levels (NO2) is significant as unsafe levels affect the health of people with respiratory conditions. Two thirds of people with asthma tell us that air pollution, including NO2 and other harmful pollutants, make their asthma worse increasing their risk of having a potentially life threatening asthma attack.

"Urgent action to reduce NO2 levels and to meet targets for safe air pollution is needed. People with asthma can reduce their risk of having attack by following the pollution forecasts, carrying their reliever inhaler at all times and ensuring they have an up to date written asthma action plan. Anyone who is concerned about how pollution may affect their asthma can call our Helpline on 0300 222 5800 or visit www.asthma.org.uk."

Background

  • Air pollution can also stop many people with asthma from leading normal lives. 29% of people with asthma have told us that a reduction in air pollution is the single thing that would make the most difference to their quality of life, while many feel unable to leave their own homes for fear of having an asthma attack on days of high air pollution.
  • For those living in urban areas where nitrogen dioxide levels are often higher, air pollution is a particular problem. For example, 42% of people with asthma have told us that traffic fumes discourage them from walking or shopping in congested areas.