Edinburgh West MP, Christine Jardine, has today called on officials in the Scottish Government and Edinburgh City Council to commission a comprehensive study on the link between air pollution and admissions to hospitals in the city.
The move comes after a study published by Kings College London last week showed a notable increase in hospital admissions England as a result of asthma, cardiac arrests and strokes in areas where air pollution is above the national average. The findings echo a 2018 report by the University of Dundee which showed that hospital admissions in Perth increased when pollution was higher.
Over the past year, Ms Jardine has been leading a campaign to improve air quality in the west of Edinburgh, where some of the most polluted streets in the country are located.
The Liberal Democrat MP commented:
“Edinburgh West contains two of the most polluted streets in Scotland, and I worry enormously about the impact that breathing toxic air has on people living in our community, especially children and people with long term health conditions.
“Often I feel like the air I breathe outside my office on St John’s Road can be worse than in central London.
“I believe it’s time for either the Scottish Government or the city council to commission a report like the one undertaken by Kings College to look at the effect this pollution is having on hospital admissions in Edinburgh.
“We can then use those findings to properly plan for the implementation of our new Low Emissions Zone, which I believe should cover the entire city, and not just the centre”.