Birmingham was today named and shamed by the World Health Organisation for having dangerous levels of air pollution. The city was one of nine in the UK found to be in breach of the World Health Organisation guideline levels for PMs (Particulate Matter), which were above recommended World Health Organisation levels for PM 2.5 and PM 10.

This comes after Birmingham was named as one of 16 cities in the UK found to be in breach of EU levels of another pollutant Nitrogen Dioxide. The European Commission launched legal proceedings against the UK government for these breaches back in January.

The city was also one of many areas hit by last month’s smog episode, where levels of pollutants at the highest level possible on the measuring scale.

Shaz Rahman, lead campaigner for our Let’s Get Moving campaign, said:

“Air pollution is bringing death and misery to millions of people across the world. Tackling it should be an urgent priority for governments and local authorities.

“Over 520 people die prematurely in Birmingham every year because of poor air quality. Tough measures are needed to tackle the causes of our dirty air, particularly traffic pollution.

“We need national government to take this issue much more seriously. However, Birmingham City Council also needs to take action locally to reduce our illegal and dangerous levels of air pollution.

“Continued high levels of investment in active travel in the long term are essential, in order to make it easier and safer for people to choose to walk and cycle.”