The government have published their air quality plan. As part of the plan, new diesel and petrol cars and vans will be banned in the UK from 2040 to help tackle air pollution.
Air pollution contributes to around 40,000 premature deaths in the UK each year and is linked to heart attack and stroke. This is because diesel and petrol fumes pollute the air with ultra-fine nanoparticles.
These stop blood vessels relaxing and contracting, which increases the risk of clots and heart attacks.
Simon Gillespie, British Heart Foundation Chief Executive, said: “The government’s aim for the UK to become a global leader in air quality is very positive news but we urgently need a new Clean Air Act with stricter pollution limits to help make this vision a reality.
“Banning new petrol and diesel vehicles from 2040 is a big step forward but it won’t benefit the millions of people today being put at increased risk of a deadly heart attack or stroke by the UK’s air pollution.
“We need to focus on the most polluted areas as these are having the most significant impact on people’s heart health.
“We believe that charging the most polluting vehicles to enter clean air zones and a targeted diesel scrappage scheme is still the most rapid and effective way to improve the nation’s air quality and help save lives.“