Air pollution is believed to have contributed to seven per cent of deaths in Redbridge, according to new figures showing the borough to be one of the worst in outer-London.

Public Health England (PHE) last week published a report outlining, for the first time, the effects of the borough’s air quality – including shortening the time residents can expect to live.

The figures from 2010 illustrate the effects of long-term exposure to man-made particles less than 2.5 microns in diameter.

A total of 123 people in Redbridge lost their lives as a result of pollution that year, it is believed.

Neighbouring Waltham Forest has the highest percentage of deaths attributed to pollution at 7.3 per cent.

In February the Department for Environment and Rural Affairs revealed that the A406, which runs through South Woodford and Waltham Forest, emits the 24th highest level of nitrogen dioxide in the country.

PHE says its study focuses on exposure over many years, rather than exposure to short-term levels of high pollution such as those witnessed earlier this month.

But it did say that the effects of short-term exposure can include death and the worsening of lung function and asthma.

Dr Paul Cosford, director of health protection and medical director at PHE, said: “Policies that encourage a shift from motorised transport to walking and cycling would be expected to reduce total vehicle emissions, including particulate pollution.

“Local authorities could also consider other measures to improve air quality, such as implementing low emission strategies as well as the appropriate design of green spaces."