The EEA measured the toxic gas nitrogen dioxide, caused by exhaust fumes and industrial pollution. Only 10 cities including Glasgow breached the threshold for toxic levels of air pollution. Levels in Glasgow were 46.3 microgrammes per cubic metre, above the legal European limit of 40mg/m3.
Professor Jacqueline McGlade, EEA executive director, told the Scotsman: “European Union policy has reduced emissions of many pollutants over the last decade, but in many countries, air pollutant concentrations are still above the legal and recommended limits… [and] air pollution reduces human life expectancy by around two years in the most polluted cities and regions.”
“A congestion charge for Glasgow has been proposed before and is working well in reducing pollution in London. I would like to see it introduced here.”
Scottish Green Party leader and MSP for Glasgow Patrick Harvie said: “At the heart of the solution is providing reliable, clean buses and trains and safer routes for cycling and walking. We need to see a much greater sense of urgency from councils and the government.”