Responding to a study by The Times on the risk of air pollution to those with lung conditions, Professor Derek Bell, President of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh said:

The health effects of air pollution remain a public health concern in Scotland and the developed world. According to Unison, air pollution may cause as many 15, 000 early deaths per year in Scotland. 

The effects of air pollution can be severe and unfortunately fatal for many Scots with heart and lung conditions. Vulnerable groups such as the young, the elderly and those already suffering ill health are at particular risk from air pollution, which has been linked with heart attacks, strokes, and cancers. The health evidence on the impact of air pollution is overwhelming, and as clinicians working in the NHS, we see the strain that air pollution has had on services.

Air pollution is a problem in some of Scotland’s cities. There are concerns in particular areas – for example, St John’s Road and Queensferry Road in Edinburgh, as well as in parts of Dundee and Glasgow. That is why we support initiatives such as the “traffic free days” trial in Edinburgh city centre.


1. The full article in The Times, featuring Prof Bell's comments, is here.

Paul Gillen

Contact: Paul Gillen 0131 247 3658