Thread: UK is endangering people's health by denying their right to clean air, says UN

  1. #1

    UK is endangering people's health by denying their right to clean air, says UN

    World body urges Conservative government to ‘step up and show leadership’ on the air pollution crisis

    The UK government is putting the health of millions of its citizens at risk by failing to tackle the country’s air pollution crisis, according the UN’s special rapporteur on human rights and the environment.

    David Boyd said people’s right to breathe clean air was being violated in the UK and warned the crisis was responsible for up to 50,000 deaths – and devastating the lives of “many millions” more in towns and cities across the country.

    Continues at the link:

    Any thoughts about the article?

  2. #2
    Forums Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Victoria, Virginia
    Just more evidence of government sticking their heads in the sand and saying I don’t see anything! It’s no better over here. Sad...

  3. #3
    Forums Member KathyLauren's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
    Nova Scotia
    I am actually surprised at this. It has been more than half a century since I lived in the UK, but my impression is that there was remarkable progress after my family left. Maybe it was just so bad before that "progress" still left things terrible.

    I remember the smog in Glasgow being so thick that, at midday, cars needed a pedestrian with a flashlight walking ahead of them to find the curb and keep them on the road. Visibility was about ten feet. On getting home, you'd blow your nose and the handkerchief would come away black. I don't remember hearing about anything that bad for years.

    But clearly, there is still room for a lot of improvement.

    Om mani padme hum

  4. #4
    Hi Kathy,

    There's a list of the UK's most polluted towns and cities in this article:

  5. #5
    Global Moderator
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    There was a lot of progress. We got rid of those smogs with the clean air act. We are now living through a second 'dirty air' era, brought on by a massive increase in road traffic, especially diesel. We got rid of coal fires, but now there are wood fires everywhere, every bit as polluting. The list is endless. I live by a range of hills, but there is no escape from the pollution from the top of them on bad days.

  6. #6
    Forums Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    From the Reagan / Thatcher era of low tax small government let the market take care of everything, surely it can not be of any surprise that nothing works, particularly in the UK where the small size of the economy means the effects are more apparent
    The Tories have form on breaching human rights and being criticised by the UN

    It makes no difference, the British are leaving the EU, an advantage it seems from what I have heard is that we leave the over site of the legal frameworks protecting workers and consumer rights, so I expect the critical arm of the UN will have much to criticise in the future.

    With no teeth it will have no effect

  7. #7
    Technical Administrator woodscooter's Avatar
    London UK
    Yes it's true that the UK has made good progress in reducing the terrible pollution of the 1950s through to the 1970s. And it's equally true that new forms of pollution have come along that were unknown or negligible 30 years ago.

    At least air pollution in the UK is now talked about, measured and tackled. Along with other issues, the one that gets shouted about the loudest tends to get action soonest. I'm pleased to see the UN reporting on air quality, and the newspapers taking up the story. I'm hopeful the UK government will do more on air quality, once the current hot potato (the Bx-word) is handled.

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