Poor air quality is estimated to have contributed to more than 200 deaths in Northamptonshire in 2017, according to the latest figures.
The startling research was unearthed at a Northamptonshire County Council cabinet meeting on Tuesday (July 9), in a quarterly performance report.
The report acknowledges that poor air quality is a ‘significant public health issue’, and is estimated to be related to 244 deaths in 2017 and nearly 5,000 life years lost to disability and death.
It adds: “Air pollution is one of the top ten risk factors for the burden of disease and death in Northamptonshire and nationally; particularly heart disease, stroke, lung cancer, COPD and lower respiratory infections.
“The fraction of all-cause adult mortality attributable to anthropogenic particulate air pollution was recorded as 5.3 per cent in 2017 (-0.2 per cent on 2016), with the average across England being 5.1 per cent (-0.2 per cent on 2015).
Deputy leader Councillor Lizzy Bowen said: “Air pollution is a concern to us all. The figure of 5.3 per cent is one we are targeting to reduce.
“It is definitely an intention by NCC, using the business rate retention monies, to pilot a traffic management system to try and improve the stop and start throughflow in the urban areas, which will hopefully have an impact on reduction in environmental pollution and we’re hoping to start in that area quite soon.”
The figures will no doubt be of concern given that only last month, the county council decided to declare a ‘climate emergency’, and pledged to become carbon neutral by 2030.