A BBC news report on 11 February highlighted that research shows that approximately six million people aged over 65 in England are at high risk of lung damage and asthma attacks because of atmospheric pollution.

The new document is from the British Lung Foundation (BLF) and Asthma UK.

It comes as MPs also demand the government sets tougher targets for air pollution.

Members of a Commons environmental committee say improving air quality needs to be “at the core” of the UK’s postpandemic rebuild’.

The lung damage is caused by particulate matter that consists of tiny particles known as PM2.5s which have a diameter of less than 2.5 micrometres across - that is one-four-hundredth of a millimetre, or about 3% of the diameter of a human hair.

PM2.5 particles are so small they can lodge in the lungs and even pass into the bloodstream.

Power stations and ERF incinerators are known to emit PM 2.5. It is estimated that only around 10 per cent of PM1 and around half the PM 2.5 can be trapped inside the flues of waste incinerators and the rest is released into the air in the plume of steam that flows from an incinerator’s chimney stack.

All coal fired power stations will be phased out by 2025. As there is no way of separately monitoring PM2.5 in the plumes of steam that are emitted from incinerators it would seem to be wise for there to be a halt put on planned ERF incinerators.

Building them will only add to the large numbers that have mushroomed across the UK.

Increasing our rate of recycling is the logical answer as we now burn half our waste.