Campaigners have called for action on air pollution in Cardiff ahead of Clean Air Day.

CommonGround, the capital's local alliance between the Welsh Greens and Plaid Cymru, labelled Cardiff Council's response to the problem "inadequate".

The group is demanding improvements to public transport, closing streets to cars, and the introduction of Low Emission Zones - where more heavily polluting vehicles are charged a fee for driving in certain areas - if necessary.

Public Health Wales estimates that air pollution contributes to around 2,000 deaths per year in Wales - six percent of all yearly deaths - with those in more deprived areas affected the most.

"It is clear that Cardiff Council has so far failed to prevent premature death and illness for the people of our city, and more radical action is needed," said Rhys Livesy, CommonGround councillor for St Fagans, Creigiau and Pentyrch.

"Clean Air Day should be a wake up call for all decision makers to take the necessary steps to protect our communities’.

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Studies indicate that exposure to pollution from "particulate matter" - referred to as PM2.5 and PM10, and often found in areas with high traffic -  can result in reduced lung function, chronic bronchitis, and increased risk of heart attack, stroke and premature death.

Children and the elderly are particularly vulnerable to these health effects, as are people with breathing and heart problems.

Similarly, exposure to high levels of nitrogen dioxide (NOx) pollution - also associated with vehicle emissions - can also damage lung function and worsen symptoms of asthma.


Pointing out that air pollution limits for all PM2.5, PM10 and NOx are "routinely" exceeded across Cardiff, CommonGround said that inaction on the issue was having a "devastating effect".

Andrea Gibson, a recently elected CommonGround Councillor who has been appointed to Cardiff Council’s Environmental Scrutiny Committee, has echoed the call for greater accountability

"Cardiff Council’s response to this public health emergency to date has been completely inadequate," she said.

Highlighting CommonGround's manifesto commitment to installing air quality monitors at schools across the city, Ms Gibson added: "It is essential that families have access to real, unbiased information about children’s exposure to air pollution."

You can look up air pollution levels at your own postcode here.

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