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EU Warns Britain On London Air Pollution
Thursday, 27-Jan-2011 8:44PM United Press International
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LONDON, Jan. 27 (UPI) -- The British government must convince EU officials London will meet European clean air standards if it is to avoid a court case, officials said.

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The European Commission gave Britain a "final warning" in June 2010 over air pollution in greater London, the BBC reported Thursday. Tiny airborne particles, called PM10, are above EU limits in London, the commission said.

PM10 -- emitted mostly by industry, traffic and domestic heating -- can cause asthma, cardiovascular problems, lung cancer and premature death, the commission warned. June 2011 is the final deadline before the commission initiates legal action against the United Kingdom, EU Environment Commissioner Janez Potocnik said.

EU infringement procedures have been initiated against 20 of the EU's 27 member states over air quality, he said. The United Kingdom is at stage two of a six-stage infringement process, Potocnik said.

A scientific study commissioned last year by London Mayor Boris Johnson estimated air pollution was responsible for 4,267 early deaths through long-term exposure in the British capital, the BBC reported.

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