Kate has shown her support for Andy Burnham’s pledge to clean up illegal levels of air pollution in the Greater Manchester region.
Figures obtained by the Greater Manchester Mayoral candidate, show that last year more than 64,000 people were admitted to hospital in Greater Manchester with respiratory problems – a 26 per cent increase on 2010 - and amongst them over 14,000 children under the age of four.
The most recent data from the Department for Food, Environment and Rural Affairs shows Greater Manchester has been in breach of its legal limits for nitrogen dioxide, a pollutant caused by road traffic, in every year since 2011.
The main effect of breathing in unsafe levels of the colourless gas is the increased risk of respiratory problems. Experts say nitrogen dioxide inflames the lining of the lungs, and can cause wheezing, coughing, colds, flu and bronchitis, as well as more serious health problems.
Burnham has criticised the Government's decision to exclude Greater Manchester from its list of Clean Air Zones receiving support to tackle air pollution, an issue which Kate has previously written to the Environment Minister about.
Kate has been working with schools in Trafford to tackle poor air quality in area, as part of her campaigning on the issue.
Kate said, “I’m pleased that Andy has a promised a detailed Clean Air Action Plan if elected in May, recognising the growing public health emergency across the region which air quality brings.
“It’s simply not acceptable that children in Stretford and Urmston have to breathe in illegal levels of air pollution and it’s disgraceful that the situation has got worse since 2010.
“The government needs to take urgent action now on poor air quality in our community and I look forward to fighting with Andy to tackle this vital issue for Greater Manchester.”
For more information about Andy Burnham’s pledge on Air Quality, please visit his website here: http://www.andyburnham.net/.