Oxford named as having dangerous pollution levels

Oxford has been identified as one of the British and Irish locations that are not meeting safety levels for air pollution. The World Health Organisation has warned that poor air quality can have serious health implications, including disease and death.

To evaluate air quality, WHO looks at the amount of particulate matter, or PM10, in the air. According to the latest WHO data, Oxford’s PM10 levels have exceeded the safe limit set.

As air quality declines, the risk of stroke, heart disease, lung cancer, and chronic and acute respiratory diseases, including asthma, increases for the people who live in these areas, the health body said.

Dr Flavia Bustreo, WHO’s assistant director general for family, women and children’s health, said: “When dirty air blankets our cities, the most vulnerable urban populations – the youngest, oldest and poorest – are the most impacted.”