HC Deb 12 July 2002 vol 388 c1263W
Ms Buck

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what estimate he has made of the costs borne by the National Health Service as a result of illness caused from air pollution, in each Government Office Region, in the last 12 months for which figures are available. [67491]

Ms Blears

The Department's committee on the medical effects of air pollutants published a report in 1998 on "Quantification of the Health Effects of Air Pollution on Health in the United Kingdom", a copy of which is available in the Library. The report was based on levels of pollutants in 1995. It estimated that the deaths of between 12,000 and 24,000 vulnerable people (mainly those with heart or lung disease) may be brought forward and between 14,000 and 24,000 respiratory hospital admissions and readmissions may be associated with short term exposure to air pollution each year. There was insufficient information to allow quantification of other health effects of air pollution.

The Department's ad-hoc group on the economic appraisal of the health effects of air pollution estimated that the average cost to the National Health Service of a respiratory hospital admission was about £1,3901.

1For 1994–5 at 1996–7 prices.

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