Air Pollution – premature deaths

MQT on 2014-12-17
Session date: 
December 17, 2014
Question By: 
Stephen Knight
Liberal Democrats
Asked Of: 
The Mayor


Further to the publication of the Health Impact Assessment (HIA) of your proposed Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) – which includes an updated estimate of the number of hospital admissions and life years lost (LYL) due to air pollution in London – can you confirm the latest estimated number of premature deaths per annum attributable to air pollution (including nitrogen dioxide (NO2)) in London?


Answer for Air Pollution – premature deaths

Answer for Air Pollution – premature deaths

Answered By: 
The Mayor

The Health Impact Assessment for ULEZ presented the health impacts of air pollution in London in terms of 'life years lost' as it reflects the amount of time by which is life shortened across the population, rather than deaths brought forward by an unspecified length of time.

In 2010 the GLA commissioned the Institute of Occupational Medicine (IOM) to calculate the estimated number of premature deaths attributable to PM2.5. IOM followed the approach recommended by the Committee on the Medical Effects of Air Pollutants (COMEAP), and estimated that in 2008 there were 4,267 deaths in London attributable to fine particulate matter PM2.5.

The IOM study did not consider NO2 as the evidence was less well-developed. Subsequently the World Health Organisation (WHO) have recommended new concentration-response functions for estimating health impacts of particulate matter, ozone and NO2 for cost-benefit analysis, but these are yet to be considered by COMEAP.

With more information now available the GLA and TfL are working with a range of partners, including Public Health England, to update and enhance the health and economic impacts of air pollution in London.