On Monday, the BBC reported that two of the Midlands’ biggest cities are breathing in record quantities of nitrogen dioxide.
According to a recent study, Leicester has the highest levels of nitrogen dioxide in England, with Nottingham recording the second highest.
Both have some of the highest levels in Europe, putting them 9th and 11th in a table of European cities, BBC said.
Air pollution, going by some estimates, costs the UK some $20 billion – yes, billion – pounds a year.
Experts say the majority of the pollution is caused by vehicles on the road and that reducing traffic in the cities is the best way of improving air quality.
The health risks of inhaling this gas are not fully understood but it is known to cause problems for people with respiratory conditions like asthma.