“Air pollution affects everyone. It is a dangerous, invisible killer,” said Humphrey Milles, founder of COPI, said.
The new database tells users if their area has low, medium, significant or very high levels of toxic air.
An address with a low rating means pollutants are at least 80 per cent below World Health Organisation limits. A very high rating is given to areas where all types of toxic air particles are above the limit and one is at least 20 per cent too high.
Last year South London’s Ella Kissi-Debrah became the first person in the UK to have air pollution listed as a cause of death.
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A coroner ruled that the nine-year-old, who died in 2013, was consistently exposed to high levels of pollutants which both caused and exacerbated her severe asthma. She lived just 25 metres from the busy South Circular in Lewisham.
With the new research showing air pollution exceeding the legal limit at one in four UK homes, Milles wants property websites to include pollution information in advertisements. COPI said it had received a legal opinion that estate agents could be acting illegally without letting potential buyers or renters know about the health risks of significantly toxic air in the area.
“It would be shameful for the property industry to not start acting in an honest, transparent way,” Milles added. Lives depend on it. Everyone has a right to know what they’re breathing.”
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Toxic air increased Covid-19 deaths by 15 per cent worldwide, according to research published last year.
“Air pollution is information all consumers should be aware of, before they make a decision on a specific property,” said Rebecca Marsh, Property Ombudsman.
“Arguably, this is material information that all sellers or landlords should be providing to potential buyers or tenants.”