Hackney has worst lung cancer death rates in London

Charlotte George, Hackney Green Party spokesperson

Charlotte George, Hackney Green Party spokesperson - Credit: Archant

Men are more likely to die from lung cancer in Hackney than any other borough in London.

Figures released by environmental campaign group Clean Air in London last week on the top ten death categories for men and women showed the borough topped the tables when it came to trachea, bronchus and lung cancer - the second biggest killer in the capital.

Coronary heart disease remains the number one cause of death.

In 2012, trachea, bronchus and lung cancers caused more than seventy-four deaths among every 100,000 Hackney male residents – 11 more than in the second worst affected borough, Islington.

Simon Birkett, founder and director of Clean Air in London, said that pollution was to blame for the high rates of lung cancer.

He said: “In London, air pollution is killing more than 10 times the number of people dying from road traffic accidents. The known health effects of air pollution have rocketed in recent years with the World Health Organisation classifying outdoor air pollution as carcinogenic to humans in October 2013 as it did smoking in February 1985. At its simplest, in public health terms, ‘invisible’ air pollution is where smoking was 30 years ago in terms of the scale and certainty of the risks and the lack of public understanding of them.”

Charlotte George, Hackney Green Party spokesperson, said: “The Clean Air London report makes some shocking links between death rates in London and air pollution. Many people associate air pollution with asthma and other respiratory diseases but few think about the connection to cerebreovascular and heart diseases. For Hackney to be one of the boroughs that appears the most for the top 10 death categories is unacceptable - and for us to have the highest male lung and bladder cancer is deeply saddening. We need immediate implementation of the next phase of the Low Emission Zone (LEZ), something that is being delayed by the London Mayor, and we need greater restrictions on more polluting vehicles in Hackney. Our health and the health of our children is more important than allowing dirty vehicles to continue to pollute Hackney roads and all of our lungs.”

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Dr John Middleton, vice president for policy, faculty of public health said: “How long Londoners live for should not be determined by where they live. Local communities need to be confident that everything is being done to help people live longer, healthier lives.”

The data also showed that the borough had the second highest female mortality deaths when it came to coronary heart disease - the number one killer of women in the capital - .

According to the data fifty-five in every 10,000 women in Hackney died of coronary heart diseases in 2012, only slightly behind neighbouring borough Tower Hamlets.