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Policy Brief – Air pollution impacts Birmingham

New research has estimated how the air pollution levels recorded in Birmingham impact on health in the city. The study estimates how current levels of pollution increase hospital admission rates, the risks of developing cancer, and worsen child health in the city.

This study estimates how current levels of air pollution increase hospital admission rates, the risks of developing cancer, and worsen child health in Birmingham.

The research suggests that each year in Birmingham, higher air pollution days (compared
to low pollution days) are linked to:

  • 12 more cardiac arrests outside hospital;
  • an extra 15 children being hospitalised with asthma; and
  • sending up to 42 more people to hospital for stroke; and 238 more people for respiratory disease.

If air pollution in Birmingham was cut by just one-fifth, every year we would see:

  • 659 fewer children suffering with low lung function;
  • 11 fewer babies being born underweight each year;
  • 371 fewer children suffering with a chest infection and 328 fewer asthmatic children suffering with bronchitic symptoms (cough and phlegm);
  • a decrease the risk of coronary heart disease by around 3.3% – 165 fewer cases a year; and
  • a decrease lung cancer cases by around 6.4% – 50 fewer cases every year.

Read the full policy brief: How Birmingham’s air pollution impacts our health and puts a strain on the NHS.