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Members of the Environmental Research Group at King’s College London recently contributed to AIR, a captivating short film by Lark Rise Pictures about the public health impacts of air pollution across the UK.

Shot using a hand-held camera, the audience is taken on an intimate journey following a handful of Londoners on their morning commute. With a background narrative of expert opinions interweaving each scene as a radio programme, interviews from leading experts in science, medicine, law and technology explore the air quality crisis caused largely by emissions from diesel vehicles in our capital city.

The filmmakers felt motivated to produce the film after discovering that in 2017 the UK’s nitrogen dioxide limits for the whole year were exceeded in just the first 5 days and 37 out of 43 zones in the UK have air quality levels which regularly exceed legal limits.

Breathing polluted air has been linked to premature births, reduced development of children’s lungs, heart disease, cancer and aggravation of pre-existing lung disease. Children are particularly vulnerable. Air pollution is reported to contribute to as many as 40,000 early deaths a year in the UK.

Having been taken to court over its failure to tackle this issue, the British Government has now published an Air Quality Plan, but scientists and medical professionals argue that this plan does not go anywhere near far enough.

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Item date 11/10/2017

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