Air pollution could kill more than 160,000 people over the next ten years unless the new Government takes 'bold action', a major charity has warned.
The British Heart Foundation has estimated that up to 11,000 heart and circulatory disease deaths are attributable to particulate air pollution in the UK every year.
Research from the charity shows high levels of air pollution can have a harmful effect on health, including by making existing heart conditions worse and increasing the risk of a heart attack or stroke.
It also found that fine particulate matter builds up around the body, including in the fatty plaques of diseased arteries.
Jacob West, our Executive Director of Healthcare Innovation, said: "Every day, millions of us across the country are inhaling toxic particles which enter our blood and get stuck in our organs, raising our risk of heart attacks and stroke.
"Make no mistake – our toxic air is a public health emergency, and we haven't done enough to tackle this threat to our society."
West also urged that 'stricter, health-based air quality guidelines are adopted into law to protect the health of the nation as a matter of urgency'.
"Decision-makers across the country owe it to future generations to help stop this alarming figure from becoming a reality," he added.
The British Lung Foundation is the 'only UK charity looking after the nation's lungs. Last year, it invested £1.8 million in vital lung disease research.
"With your support, we’ll make sure that one day everyone breathes clean air with healthy lungs," the charity states.
You can campaign against air pollution, or fundraise with the British Lung Foundation here