Residents of Britain’s ‘most polluted’ estate have found the air is so toxic that plants die within hours – but they don’t want to leave.
People living in Nechells, Birmingham claim the deadly air has affected their health and reduced their life expectancy.
The Brummie suburb has been dubbed a ‘hell hole’ after years of heavy pollution.
The drab looking council estate is surrounded by industrial sites, factories and the busiest roads in the West Midlands.
Locals claim the pollution is so bad they can see, smell and taste the clouds of smog.
Resident Gillian Bird told the Sun Online: “There are so many cars and trucks with work vans now and the pollution is really bad.
“I have to keep my windows closed most of the time because the smell gets in.”
Former hairdresser June was also furious: “I gave up growing plants on my balcony, you put them out there and within hours they’re dead.”
Health officials have warned residents as the area has one of the lowest expectation rates in the UK.
According to Health Equals, the rate is just 76 years for men and women.
Experts believe that the air could be the cause of the residents’ poor health – many suffer from heart and lung diseases.
However, tenants said they never want to leave their homes.
Pensioner June said: “The council has tried to get me into a retirement home in the area but I refuse to go there. I keep telling them I’m happy to stay here.”
“People are friendly and there are some nice green spaces to look at and traverse.”
Other tenants added that the area is “not a bad place” and has a good neighborhood community.
However, some claimed pollution had gotten worse and residents were now moving away from Nechells.
They have accused the council of “not doing enough” to improve the alarming situation.
Former Victor Tower resident Kaise Salah, 29, said: “You can see and smell the smoke coming from the factories and most days there is a really acrid stench of burning rubbish.
“It should be stopped, but nothing is being done.”
Birmingham City Council said it had set up monitors to assess the impact of the air in the area.
Councilor Lee Marsham said: “We know poor air quality leads to poor health quality, so we’re excited to see what the results show to make a difference in people’s lives.”
This is happening because a family living under the M4 motorway can feel their home shaking when heavy traffic passes over it – but they love it.
Arthur and Gwyneth Howells, who live there with son Jason, have adapted to the increasing flow of traffic over the years – and wouldn’t have it any other way.
Elsewhere, neighbors who live on Britain’s busiest street said that, contrary to what people might think, life really isn’t that bad.
Residents live in Edgewood Mews in Finchley, north London, which has 10,000 vehicles an hour chugging along at its busiest time.