Tom Blenkinsop – 2016 Parliamentary Question to the Department of Health

The below Parliamentary question was asked by Tom Blenkinsop on 2016-10-11.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what assessment his Department has made of the effect of particle pollutants on children’s health and development in the UK.

Nicola Blackwood

The independent expert advisory Committee on the Medical Effects of Air Pollutants (COMEAP) published a statement on the evidence linking air pollution to effects on children’s health in 2008. This acknowledged the conclusions of a report by the World Health Organization (2005) of effects on children’s health, including development of lung function, but also noted that the evidence for some effects was from areas where levels of air pollutants were higher than those found in the United Kingdom.

In 2010 COMEAP published a statement on the evidence linking air pollution with childhood asthma. The evidence confirmed that exposure to ambient concentrations of air pollutants is associated with an increase in exacerbations of asthma in those who already have the condition. The evidence for air pollution causing new cases of asthma is less clear. However, COMEAP concluded that it is possible that air pollution plays a part in the induction of asthma in some individuals who live near busy roads, particularly roads carrying high numbers of heavy goods vehicles.