Mayor answers to London

Hospital admissions and smog episodes

Question number4295/2012
Meeting date19/12/2012

Question by Murad Qureshi

How many additional people were admitted to hospital with respiratory problems at or just after each London smog episode in the last five years?

Answer by Boris Johnson

Kings College Environment Research Group has carried out preliminary research into air pollution and hospital admissions. Kings compared the total number of emergency respiratory hospital admissions in Greater London between 2006 and 2011 when air pollution was high or very high to an average benchmark of hospital admissions when air pollution was low (as defined by the Defra Air Quality Index).

Their findings show that over the five-year period the total number of additional admissions when ozone was high or very high was 118. There were 641 additional admissions when PM10 was high or very high and 49 admissions when NO2 levels were high or very high. It is important to note that the hospital admissions have been counted separately for each pollutant, however they may have occurred at the same time (ie if ozone and PM10 concentrations were high at the same time) and so they may not be mutually exclusive.

Main question

Murad Qureshi