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Dalarna must adopt a zero-emission vision against air pollution caused by traffic – Dala-Demokraten

Dalarna must adopt a zero-emission vision against air pollution caused by traffic – Dala-Demokraten

This is a discussion post.Writers are responsible for opinions.

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Photo: Roald, Perret

Today, almost 1400 People die prematurely as a result of air pollution caused by traffic in Sweden. This is more than six times the number of deaths there Traffic Accidentswhich has more than halved in two decades. In Dalarna, 5 people died in traffic accidents last year.

Polluted Air It affects people in the form of cardiovascular diseases, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and asthma. It also affects pregnancy and the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Children are particularly vulnerable and risk reduced lung capacity. The social costs of air pollution, which kills a total of around 7,000 Swedes prematurely each year, amount to $100 million. 168 billion Swedish krona. Therefore, there is an urgent need for legislation for cleaner air. Fresh air not only improves overall health, but also reduces… Climate impact.

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New knowledge Even at low levels, it shows greater health risks from air pollution than previously known. Therefore, the World Health Organization has lowered its recommended target values, for example, for the smallest and most hazardous particles. But in Sweden the percentage is still five times higher. In other words, it is not an exaggeration to claim that the threshold value for air quality in Sweden is dangerously high.
Clean air is not a lifestyle choice, not for individuals, not for cities, not for countries. It is a matter of saving lives and it requires political will. One A new Swedish study It shows significant social benefits to designing transport systems in cities that are less dependent on cars. These include, among other things, speed limits and making public transport and cycling more attractive. The system has gained wide acceptance when it has been introduced in other countries.

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On sound scientific grounds, we believe that politicians should improve air and public health by:

Setting air pollution limit values ​​on par with WHO guidelines

Adopting Vision Zero against deaths and serious illnesses caused by traffic-related air pollution.

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The Swedish Environmental Protection Agency is tasked with developing a national action plan to improve air quality.

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In a survey For the country's municipalities implemented by the Heart and Lung Foundation, the proposals have unanimous support among 280 of the 292 municipalities that responded, as well as by a majority of all parties. In a new report The World Heart Federation (WHF) is urging all countries to adopt WHO recommendations – and Sweden is well placed to take a leadership role.

Christina Sparrelljung, Secretary General of the Heart and Lung Foundation
Anders Åkesson, president of the National Heart and Lung Association
Thomas Sandström, Chief Physician and Professor of Pulmonary Medicine at Umeå University