Professor Frank Kelly joins press conference


Frank Kelly takes part in a press conference

The Head of the Environmental Research Group joined air pollution campaigners to discuss the challenges and solutions to air pollution in the UK.

Professor Frank Kelly, Battcock Chair in Community Health and Policy, joined a press conference hosted by the Ella Roberta Family Foundation and law firm Hodge Jones & Allen to discuss advocacy, achievability and accountability in the fight against air pollution.

The press conference comes over a year since Coroner Philip Barlow published the Prevention of Future Deaths (PFD) Report following the landmark ruling that air pollution contributed to 9 year-old Ella Adoo-Kissi-Debrah's death from severe asthma.

The PFD Report recommended three key areas of focus: the implementation of legal air pollution limits based on WHO guidelines, a public awareness campaign on the dangers of air pollution to human health, and greater awareness and education of the medical community on the dangers of air pollution to patients.

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) is carrying out a public consultation on UK air quality targets. However, it proposes to meet the WHO's older 2005 guidelines by 2040, rather than the WHO's 2021 guidelines based on the latest science on protecting public health. 

Research from the Environmental Research Group found that 99.2% of the UK can achieve WHO-10 by 2030 if current and proposed policies are fully implemented.

Professor Frank Kelly, said: “Poor air quality is not only exerting a greater impact on established health challenges, such as respiratory and cardiovascular morbidity and mortality, but is also associated with a broader number of disease outcomes, including adverse birth outcomes, diabetes, neurodevelopment and cognitive function."

"Solving our air pollution problem is absolutely vital but presents a huge challenge. Success will depend upon the concerted action of a host of parties – including policy makers at a local, national and international level. The 2021 Environment Act is the UK’s opportunity to demonstrate leadership in this vital area and to give its citizens air quality that is fit to breathe.”


Jack Stewart

Jack Stewart
School of Public Health

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Pollution, Environment
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