(UK) Breathing low levels of toxic air pollution causes changes similar to early stages of heart failure

A cyclist wears a mask with an air filter as she cycles through Hyde Park in London April 3, 2014. A dust cloud from the Sahara has covered south east England, raising pollution levels to the highest level in London, preventing people taking exercise outdoors, including the Prime Minister, David Cameron, who said he had skipped his morning jog. REUTERS/Suzanne Plunkett (BRITAIN - Tags: ENVIRONMENT)

Joe Mellor | The London Economic | 03/08/2018

Low level pollution well within UK guidelines causes changes to the heart similar to those seen in the early stages of heart failure, a new study warned.

The shocking findings were based on British volunteers who did not live in large cities but near loud, busy roads.

Road transport accounts for 20 to 30 per cent of outdoor air pollution in the UK.

Being exposed to levels of soot and harmful fumes at levels well within UK legal limits damages the heart and the more a person was exposed, the larger their hearts became.

Scientists are now urging the UK had to adopt stricter limits to air pollution as it is now the largest environmental risk factor linked to deaths in England.

The study was based on around 4,000 participants in the UK Biobank study who did not have underlying heart problems, or had recently moved.