New findings that high pollution levels pose greater risks to vulnerable patients post-Brexit, the Liberal Democrats have warned.
A study led by the American College of Cardiology details the link between higher air pollution and a greater risk to heart transplant patients.
Figures show that heart transplant recipients had a 26% higher risk of mortality due to infection if they lived in areas where air pollution levels exceeded national limits for clean air
Air pollution exposure also resulted in "inflammatory responses" and "increases in blood pressure and insulin resistance, as well as a weakened immune system".
The findings come just weeks after King's College reported that living near busy roads can stunt children's lung development by up to 14%, and a UCL-led study discovered people in neighbourhoods with high pollution are at least 6% more likely to have glaucoma
Liberal Democrat MEP for the North West and former NHS worker of 25 years Jane Brophy said:
“Our country is getting dangerously close to the point of no return and severe action must be taken right now before our air becomes to dirty to breathe.
"Pollution levels are making more and more people ill, and these newest figures reveal that our most vulnerable citizens are at greater risk.
"This is just another example of how bad Brexit would be for our country. Only by staying in the EU, working with other countries, can we keep our air clean and safe to breathe for ourselves and our children.
"Illnesses caused by air pollution are now becoming increasingly common. We owe it to the next generation to stop wasting time over Brexit, stop Brexit, and get on with tackling global crises like air pollution."