Public Health England (PHE) is proposing a ban on cars idling in areas like schools or hospitals, while councils call for more funding to tackle pollution and improve public transport.
The latest PHE figures show that 3.8 in every 100 deaths of people aged 30 and over in North Yorkshire in 2017 were linked to long-term exposure to air pollution.
The data only measures PM2.5 – small particles with a diameter of less than 2.5 micrometres, about 3% of the width of a human hair.
The proportion of deaths caused by air pollution in North Yorkshire has decreased since 2010, when 4.3 in every 100 deaths were connected to a high presence of these particles in the air.
Martin Tett, transport spokesman for the Local Government Association, said air pollution is a public health emergency. He said: “We need to be able to live in safe communities, which includes making sure the air we breathe is as free from pollution as possible.”
PHE recently released a set of recommendations for tackling air pollution as, according to its estimate, 28,000 to 36,000 deaths a year in the UK could be attributed to long-term exposure to PM2.5 particles.
Professor Paul Cosford, medical director and director of health protection at PHE, said: “We should stop idling outside schools and we should make sure that children can walk or cycle to school.”
Article by Miguel Rodriguez, Data reporter.