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COUNCILS GIVEN TO 2005 TO GET TRAFFIC FUMES DOWN

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A new report revealing air pollution figures far higher than expected, has given powerful backing to government pla...
A new report revealing air pollution figures far higher than expected, has given powerful backing to government plans to reduce car use in cities.

The report by the Health Department Committee on the Medical Effects of Air Pollutants reveals that traffic fumes are killing up to 24,000 people prematurely each year.

The Guardian (p2) reports that government guidelines on air quality in urban areas are exceeded as often as once a week and local authorities have been given a target of 2005 to get levels down.

They have been given powers to close roads or whole districts to traffic if necessary but so far no schemes have been brought forward for approval.

Health secretary Frank Dobson, said the report made these measures more urgent. 'While there is much that we need to find out about the precise effects, it is clear that [air pollution] is doing harm to people who are already frail and sick.'
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