If the London water supply directly contributed to the deaths of 9,000 residents every year, there would quite rightly be rioting in the streets. People would leave the city in droves, civil society would break down and nobody would ever visit one of the this once-great city again. Of course, this is not the case, the water in London is perfectly safe to drink. The air, on the other hand, now that is a completely different story.
Gone are the pea-souper smogs that once choked the city, but that does not mean the air is not thick with particle pollution, noxious gases and dangerous chemicals that cause heart failure, stroke and breathing issues, which lead to the death of thousands.
And London is not alone. Countless cities across the world are experiencing levels of air pollution that goes well beyond World Health Organization recommendations, and as a result around 4.5million people fall victim to an early death every year.
In this episode of the Science Focus Podcast, Online Editor Alexander McNamara has an in-depth conversation with King’s College London pollution scientist and author of the book The Invisible Killer: The Rising Global Threat Of Air Pollution — And How We Can Fight Back (£12.99 on Hive, Melville House), Gary Fuller, who explains how bad our air is, what causes it, and how we can stop this invisible killer.
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