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Air pollution can depend on your class, ethnicity, and gender



Poor air quality is responsible for over half a million deaths in Europe every year, but not everyone is equally at risk. Our new review found that across Europe the most disadvantaged people have the poorest air quality. This means that people who have been disadvantaged several times due to their social class, ethnicity or gender also have the most unhealthy living environments.

In Wales, less-favored areas have the highest levels of major pollutants such as nitrogen dioxide and carbon dioxide on particulate matter from traffic fumes, industrial pollution and wood-burning stoves. Particulate matter forms a fine mist of toxic waste that affects more people than any other type of pollution. Inhalation can lead to heart attacks and respiratory diseases, including lung cancer.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), there is no safe threshold for the smallest particles below which "no damage to health is observed". Meanwhile, nitrogen dioxide is associated with decreased lung function and child growth and increases asthma.