Air pollution from traffic fumes can be as detrimental for one’s happiness as bereavement or divorce, according to a study.

Concerns over the impact of diesel cars on NO2 levels were raised by the Volkswagen emissions scandal in September 2015.

Air pollution from traffic fumes is often as damaging for one’s happiness as bereavement or divorce, according to a study.

Researchers have said the effect of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) on life satisfaction is comparable to that of critical events in individuals' lives, according to Press Association.

The research, conducted by professors at the University of York, argues that “the welfare gains to society from decreases in exposure to NO2 can be substantive”.

Titled Can clean air make you joyful? Examining the impact of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) on life satisfaction - writers Sarah J Knight and Peter Howley, wrote: “Our results imply a significant and negative association between mean annual ambient NO2 and life satisfaction, and also that these effects are substantive and comparable to that of many ‘large hitting’ life events.”

The newspaper says: We find that NO2 is associated with subjective wellbeing, albeit much smaller in magnitude than previous approximations after controlling for some significant spatial controls.

“That said the effect size is substantive and comparable to that of many other broadly studied determinants of subjective wellbeing.

“For example, our standardised coefficients suggest the result of NO2 on life satisfaction is equivalent to roughly half that of joblessness, and comparable to that of married separation and widowhood, factors associated with some of the biggest wellbeing reductions in the literature to date.

“Specified that the effect of NO2 is, somewhat, experienced by everyone (i.e., not everybody is jobless, but everyone is subject to a certain level of NO2 exposure) this suggests that the welfare gains to society from reductions in exposure to NO2 may be substantive.”

The Volkswagen emissions scandal in September 2015 raised concerns over the effect of diesel automobiles on NO2 amounts.

And this week, MP Neil Parish, the chairman of an influential Commons committee, is expected to tell ministers that owners of old autos that were diesel need to have the capacity to trash their vehicles for cash in pollution hotspots.

Drivers were motivated to change from petrol under Tony Blair’s authorities, and Prime Minister Theresa May has said that might be taken into accounts” in future strategies.

Following the Volkswagen emissions scandal in 2015, a Department for Transport investigation found that 37 top-selling diesel cars exceeded the legal limit necessary for laboratory pollution evaluations when driven for 90 minutes on ordinary roads.

During a recent trip to the Middle East, Mrs May said: “ about the issue of diesel autos, obviously we will be making a fresh air quality strategy, we’ve been required to do that by the courts.

“Verdicts will be taken when we make that strategy – obviously we shall take final decisions regarding that which we do.

“But we need to take that into account when we’re looking at that which we do in the future, and I’m quite cognizant of the fact that folks have motivated to get diesel cars.”

air pollution polution health