New West Midlands Mayor asked to address air quality

Today is World Asthma Day and also the first day at work for the new West Midlands Mayor, Richard Parker. 

The charity, Asthma + Lung UK, marked both occasions with a breakfast event in Birmingham city centre, which was attended by local schoolchildren, healthcare professionals, politicians, and clean air campaigners.

Over 300,000 people in the West Midlands live with asthma and 45,000 of these are children. 

The Mayor heard from the children about the importance of clean air and received hand-written letters about doing more to tackle the issue.

Air pollution, which exacerbates asthma symptoms and leads to an increase in emergency hospital admissions is problematic in the West Midlands, where levels are nearly five times WHO guidelines and, in the most polluted hotspots, exceed legal limits.

Since 2013, 798 people across the area have died as a result of the condition, 280 of them in Birmingham itself.

Tim Dexter, Clean Air Lead at Asthma + Lung UK, said: ‘We know that toxic air is impacting the lives of people, and most worryingly children, living with asthma in the West Midlands, triggering their symptoms and increasing their likelihood of being admitted to hospital for their condition.

‘This World Asthma Day marks the first day in post for a new Mayor and it’s imperative that makes tackling toxic air a priority from day one, thereby protecting the lung health of the millions of people living across the region. We look forward to working with the new Mayor to ensure our children have the clean air future they deserve.’

According to Asthma + Lung research last month, over 12,000 people in the UK have died from asthma attacks since the publication of a landmark report ten years ago, which found that the majority of asthma deaths are preventable. That report: National Review of Asthma Deaths: Why asthma still kills, published by the Royal College of Physician, claimed that two thirds of asthma deaths were preventable.

Since that report, the asthma death rate has risen by nearly a quarter, with four people dying from asthma every day and tens of thousands admitted to hospital for life-threatening asthma attacks each year.




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16 days ago

Very good to know about this, thank you. About time too.If West Midlands can get involved so can others.

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