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What Air Pollution Does to Your Body

Analysis by Dr. Joseph Mercola Fact Checked

air pollution

Story at-a-glance -

  • In April 2019, London launched an ultralow emission zone in central London, which will charge motorists more than $16 a day to drive into the area, unless they meet certain strict emissions standards
  • In the U.S. alone, more than 3% of premature births haven been attributed to air pollution, specifically particulate matter (PM 2.5)
  • Exposure to air pollution has also been linked to low birth weight babies, intra-uterine growth retardation, stillbirth, congenital anomalies and problems with fetal brain growth
  • Living in an area with higher levels of air pollution is also linked to the development of Type 2 diabetes in adults, as well as decreased cognitive function, heart disease and sleep disturbances
  • Air pollution that results from growing corn is associated with 4,300 premature deaths per year in the U.S., with associated damages estimated at $14 billion to $64 billion

In April 2019, London launched an ultralow emission zone in central London, which will charge motorists more than $16 a day to drive into the area, unless they meet certain strict emissions standards. The move is expected to cut emissions from motor vehicles by about 45 percent in central London.

Seventy-two percent of London adults said they supported the measure to charge vehicles that pollute, as London mayor Sadiq Khan described air pollution in the city as a "public health emergency." In the U.K., air pollution causes about 40,000 deaths annually, echoing death rates from air pollution across the globe.


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