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NHS called to assist in drive to reduce pollution

02 March 2018

With increasingly more facilities and states taking action to reduce pollution and increase sustainability levels, the government's chief medical officer has called for the NHS to assist.

Professor Dame Sally Davies has highlighted the issues linked to pollution and said the impact on health was still be fully appreciated, according to the BBC.

Details of how the NHS could assist in reducing pollution were also included in her annual report.

Professor Davies used the example of transport in that context, stating that one in 20 UK vehicle journeys is linked to the NHS when the movements of staff and patients are taken into account.

Bringing services out of hospitals and closer to people's homes could reduce the burden, she said.

The phasing out of the use of diesel engines for ambulances were also highlighted, as this is seen as a source of nitrogen dioxide with implications on respiratory illnesses.

NHS sustainability practices were also discussed, with Professor Davies stating that disposable plastics, landfill and incineration levels could also be reduced.

She also question about the long-term effects of air, light and noise pollution are impacting on people's health, stating the public is "exposed to a daily cocktail of pollutants".

When linked to heart disease and asthma, they "increase the risk for some of the most vulnerable members of our society and places a huge burden on our health service", she said.

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