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World’s first Ultra Low Emission Zone to save NHS billions by 2050

Wednesday February 26th, 2020

New report shows the Ultra Low Emission Zone and the Mayor’s other air quality policies will save the NHS around £5 billion over next 30 years.

nhslogoMayor’s world-leading action means almost 300,000 fewer Londoners suffering diseases attributable to air pollution such as heart disease, lung cancer & dementia.
Without wider Government action the cost to the NHS and social care system in London is estimated to be £10.4 billion by 2050.

The Mayor’s Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) and other bold policies to tackle air pollution will save the NHS around £5 billion and more than one million hospital admissions over the next 30 years. The figures are from a new report looking at the long-term health impacts of exposure to toxic pollution (NO2 and PM2.5) in London.

The world’s first ULEZ was introduced last year in central London and is the centrepiece of Sadiq Khan’s bold action to tackle London’s toxic air health crisis. Toxic pollutants lead to thousands of premature deaths every year, increase the risk of asthma, dementia and cancer and stunt the development of children’s lungs. The ULEZ has already led to immediate health benefits with fewer polluting cars being driven and a roadside nitrogen dioxide (NO2) reducing by 36 per cent in the zone.

Today’s report reveals that by 2050 the impact of the Mayor’s air quality policies, including the ULEZ, Low Emission Bus Zones and no longer licensing new diesel taxis, are predicted to result in:

almost 300,000 Londoners saved from diseases attributable to air pollution, such as coronary heart disease, lung cancer and dementia. This is a reduction of around one in every four air pollution related diseases

a cost saving to London’s NHS and social care system of around £5 billion
one million fewer new air pollution related hospital admissions in London.
In addition to the policy areas controlled by the Mayor, if no wider action is taken by the Government to reduce air pollution:
around 550,000 Londoners would develop diseases attributable to air pollution over the next 30 years
the cumulative cost to the NHS and social care system in London is estimated to be £10.4 billion.

Sadiq today visited Columbia Market Nursery School, one of 20 nurseries in the most polluted areas of London that received an Air Quality Audit and grant from the Mayor’s programme.

The nursery is also one of six selected to trial an indoor air filtration system as part of the Mayor’s scheme and will benefit from when the ULEZ area is expanded up to the North and South circular roads in 2021.

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